TAMPA — With the Lightning primary 3-2 with just around a minute remaining, Stacy Birr could not sit in her seat any lengthier.

Up in the 300s amount, Birr saved her eyes glued on the online video board hovering in excess of center ice at Amalie Arena.

It was a serendipitous moment when Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” screamed above the speakers, bringing absolutely everyone else to their ft, much too. And contrary to past occasions, no 1 at Friday’s Match 5 view occasion was leaving early.

As the seconds ticked down, Birr — together with about 7,200 other supporters — grew more antsy. Her nerves settled, though, at the time the Lightning sealed the win about Colorado, chopping their Stanley Cup ultimate collection deficit to 3-2 with Recreation 6 again household on Sunday night.

“They’re winners,” claimed Birr, 40 of Seffner. “(A comeback in the collection) would develop our dynasty if we can entire this.”

Donning a blue Ryan McDonagh jersey, Birr was extra than excited to share one more activity night with Bre Aubrey, 42 of Brandon, and Melissa Barney, 39 of Seffner. The trio has manufactured a stage to show up at just about every enjoy social gathering this postseason.

And while the evening ended very well for most supporters within the Arena, longtime Colorado supporter Todd Schippers — who attended Friday’s check out social gathering together with his spouse, Sabrina, and two boys, Liam and Logan — felt in a different way.

The family of four read some excellent-natured heckling all over the evening. The residence group treated the outsiders well, stated Todd, who donned a Joe Sakic jersey.

Even with the reduction, the Riverview resident was content with an entertaining Activity 5. And he has sufficient self confidence in his crew to know the best prize is nonetheless forward for the Avalanche, who have not shed back-to-back video games this complete postseason.

“It was really hard, but a good match, however,” mentioned Todd, 39. “It was genuinely close, a nail-biter all the way to the end. I truly believed we were going to come again and get (the Cup) at home, I was really hoping it wasn’t heading to a Activity 6, but that’s all appropriate. We’re heading to occur again below and defeat these guys listed here.”

Lightning fans recognized what was at stake. Just one reduction and Tampa Bay’s likelihood of a three-peat are in excess of.

“The chips are down,” reported David Hahn, 72, of New Port Richey. “This is a challenging team. When they get fired up, and their backs are (towards) the wall, they can do anything.”

Sporting a phony “playoff beard” and custom-created Lightning sunhat, Matthew Cunningham claimed the Lightning required to present that they are the “better workforce.”

“No, I don’t believe Colorado is superior at all,” claimed Cunningham, 18. “I think all the things that they’ve gotten has been for the reason that of our absence of capability to (spend) notice to depth.”

Several would very likely concur with that evaluation of the Avalanche, but his just take on Ondrej Palat has in no way seemed a lot more sound. Palat, who lots of suspect might go away the team this summertime as a totally free agent, scored his franchise-main 12th playoff game-winning goal in the third period.

“Unless he normally takes a important total considerably less than what he’s really worth, then it will be his previous operate with the Lightning,” Cunningham said. “But I believe he’s just demonstrated, in these playoffs, particularly, how significant he is to the group.”

In the meantime, Colorado supporter Justin Collins attended to display his close friend how fantastic a hockey atmosphere is. In just one way, he obtained his desire.

“There’s honestly practically nothing else that you could question for in a hockey game,” stated Collins, 32, of Clearwater.

Being outnumbered in a group is absolutely nothing new for Collins. Irrespective of developing up in Tallahassee, he has supported the Avalanche considering that he was 5 a long time previous.

“My initial recreation was a Tampa as opposed to Colorado video game,” he mentioned. “Sat suitable by the Tampa bench.”

Collins moved to Colorado for 6 yrs, mostly, he said, out of really like for his Avs. And even though he appreciates Colorado admirers preferred to clinch their to start with Cup in far more than two decades on home ice, the reduction carries a silver lining. The Avalanche can now earn it all in Activity 6 at Amalie.

“I’m likely to devote what ever I have to shell out to get there,” he said.

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