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Reading List: Thomas' great save one reason Lightning are in familiar place

A heroic effort from Tim Thomas has the Boston Bruins just one win away from their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 21 years.

Despite being outplayed in the first and third periods, the Bruins escaped TD Garden Monday with a 3-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston can close the series with a victory in Game 6 Wednesday at the St. Pete Times Forum (8 p.m. ET, Versus, CBC, RDS).

 

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks return home to Rogers Arena for Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (9 p.m., Versus, CBC, RDS). The Canucks can head to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994 with a victory.

Here's your daily NHL.com Reading List, a set of quick links to some of the stories you won't want to miss:

Stamkos: 'We've been in that position before'

Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning put all kinds of pressure on Boston goalie Tim Thomas, but were unable to recover from a pair of second-period goals-against in a 3-1 defeat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday. It puts the Lightning in a familiar position -- on the brink of the elimination. Corey Masisak spoke with Stamkos after the loss.

Thomas robs Downie to preserve win for Bruins

Tim Thomas almost singlehandedly stole Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals with a 33-save performance Monday that was capped with a save-of-the-year candidate against Steve Downie in the third period that sealed the deal in a 3-1 victory at TD Garden that puts the Lightning on the brink of elimination. Shawn P. Roarke provides an in-depth look at what could be the save of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Smith gets surprising start for Lightning

Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher didn't tell Mike Smith he was replacing Dwayne Roloson as Monday's starting goaltender until just before he left TD Garden to return to the team hotel for lunch. Smith, who made 17 saves in his first-ever postseason start, spoke with Corey Masisak after the 3-1 loss to Boston.

Horton: 'We're going to have to work even harder'

Bruins forward Nathan Horton erased a 1-0 deficit by scoring his seventh goal of the playoffs and received more than 17 minutes of ice time in Monday's 3-1 win against Tampa Bay. Armed with a 3-2 series lead, Horton and the Bruins are fully aware the fourth victory of this best-of-seven series will be the hardest to attain. Shawn P. Roarke spoke with Horton after the game.

Missed opportunities cost Lightning in Game 5

The Tampa Bay Lightning dominated the Boston Bruins in the first 20 minutes Monday at TD Garden and controlled the tempo again in the third period, but it wasn't enough to go home with a 3-2 series lead. Corey Masisak takes a closer look at Tampa Bay's inability to cash in on several opportunities.

Canucks must call on killer instinct

Henrik Sedin believes a team shows killer instinct when it doesn't relax or think there's still time left to win the series -- that the key is thinking tomorrow doesn't exist, even though it does. Dan Rosen spoke with the Vancouver Canucks' captain Monday.

Long journey to 'The Show' for Bolduc, Tanev

Defenseman Christopher Tanev and forward Alexandre Bolduc have been valuable depth players for the Vancouver Canucks in these playoffs; however, it wasn't too long ago both players were several steps away from an NHL game. Dhiren Mahiban reports from Vancouver.

Sharks' goal now to get series back to San Jose

With their backs against the wall, the San Jose Sharks know they must find a way to win Game 5 in hostile territory as the Western Conference Finals shifts to Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Tuesday. Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle is confident his team will find a way. Eric Gilmore has the latest.

Salo hopes for a Cup after long road back

Nobody on the Vancouver Canucks has faced as much adversity as Sami Salo did last summer, when he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon. Now, he and his teammates are five wins away from a Stanley Cup championship. Dan Rosen spoke with Salo on Monday.

Ehrhoff skates, no word on playing status

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff appeared to injure his left shoulder after a collision with San Jose Sharks forward Jamie McGinn with 5:40 remaining in the first period of Game 3. He was a scratch from Game 4 Sunday. Dhiren Mahiban reports on Ehrhoff's chances to play Tuesday at Rogers Arena.

McLellan says Thornton a go for Game 5

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Monday that although captain Joe Thornton missed the final 10 minutes of Game 4 Sunday with an apparent shoulder injury, the man they call "Jumbo" will be in the lineup Tuesday for Game 5 in Vancouver with the Sharks in a 3-1 hole in the Western Conference Finals. Dave Lozo reports.