Lightning star Steven Stamkos celebrates teammate Valtteri Filppula's second-period goal against the New York Rangers in Game 5 Sunday. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Lightning center Valtteri Filppula hasn't been in the spotlight much in these playoffs, but the veteran stepped up Sunday in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Rangers by teaming up with Bolts star Steven Stamkos for the first goal of the night.
With the incredible contributions made by the Tampa Bay Lightning's younger players in the 2015 playoffs, veteran center Valtteri Filppula hasn't been in the spotlight all that often. But in Game 5 of the Bolts' Eastern Conference Final series against the New York Rangers, Filppula collaborated with star Steven Stamkos to score the first goal of the night.
Game 5 was scoreless through the first 33 minutes at Madison Square Garden, but Stamkos took the puck at the Rangers' blueline late in the second period and quickly moved it along to Filppula, who wired a wrist shot past Blueshirts goalie Henrik Lundqvist to make it 1-0 for the visiting team:
The goal was Filppula's third of the playoffs, and 22nd career NHL post-season goal. He's now two off a career-best five playoff goals he scored for Detroit in their Stanley Cup-winning 2008 playoff tournament, and with the Bolts jumping out to a 2-0 lead in Game 5 – and a 3-2 series lead if they win – he could have the opportunity to break that record and add another championship ring to his collection.