Ondrej Palat helps Bolts force Game 6 with clutch goal late in third period (0:37)

Ondrej Palat scored the goal that gave his team the lead. There is a time and a place for this.

1:10 AM ET

Ondrej Palat is the only one who can score a goal in the third period for the Bolts.

The game-winning goal by Ondrej Palat at 13:38 of the third period Friday night allowed the Lightning to avoid elimination with a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avs in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Pat Maroon said that he kept doing it. He's a person who likes to play video games. He plays the way he's supposed to play. He gets rewarded for getting to those areas. A star in this league is him. He is one of the best players in the league. He shows up in big events.

The goal was the 11th of the playoffs for Palat. He had two game-winning goals against the New York Rangers, an empty-net goal and his heroics to keep the Lightning's Stanley Cup chances alive in Denver.

The Lightning had the puck in their possession with the score tied. Palat was holding his stick high in the air for a pass. Defenseman Victor Hedman slid him the puck, and Ondrej Palat's shot hit Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper and trickled past him for the tying and winning goals.

I was just trying to find my way around. He sees me after seeing Heddy. It was not hard for me. Palat said he was just trying to one-time it and lucky it went in.

The goal was celebrated in the Czech Republic by Palat's family.

There were 80 people there, my parents told me. There was a time in the morning. Even when the game is late, it's nice to have the support of your hometown.

Palat is a beloved player among his teammates, having played for coach Jon Cooper with the Syracuse Crunch in the American Hockey League.

"All I can say about Palat is he plays with some of the best players in the world every year and he's always the third guy talked about on this line, but if you ask the other two players on his line, they would talk about him more than any of them He just does what he is paid to do. He gets a reward for his efforts. Every year in the playoffs, I have the same conversation about Ondrej Palat as everybody else.

The Lightning avoided elimination after a crushing overtime loss at home in the fourth game of the series. There was a loud crowd ready to see the Stanley Cup presented. The fans left the game because they saw the start of the game.

We didn't have an option. Steven Stamkos said this was do-or-die for the team. The group did a great job of focusing on the present, and that was a very tough place to win, just play a solid game and give us a chance.

We did that tonight. One game was won by us.

It wouldn't feel right to see the series end in five games.

He said it was just a game. Everybody has to get back on a plane and we can't hang our hat on that. I don't know if it was meant to go six or seven. It was, right? Two good hockey teams are here. We can't wait to see you guys in two nights.