Belfast pushes Smurfs to brink

Matt Duchene filled in nicely for injured Sidney Crosby on the top line as Belfast thoroughly outplayed Berlin in Game 5 of the finals.

Berlin now faces a must-win game at home on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Belfast came out strong and – uncharacteristically of late – finished stronger by outshooting the Smurfs 8-1 in period 3.

The game was tied 1-1 after a period as Alexander Ovechkin and Patric Hornqvist scored for Belfast and Berlin, respectively. In the second period, the Giants put a two-goal gap between the teams after Duchene and Ondrej Palat scored. Nathan Horton made the home fans squirm in their seats for a while when he scored for the Smurfs to reduce the gap to a goal, but Cody Hodgson and Matt Moulson put the game away in the third period with goals that both had Micki Dupont assists attached to them.

A better Berlin powerplay, and the score might have been tighter. The Smurfs were 0-for-5 with the man advantage.

Crosby should be able to play Tuesday, albeit not at 100 percent, but he could be slotted into the lineup between Ovechkin and James Neal again.





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