Throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs we’ll be keeping track of all the action around the league, and bringing you all of the results in one place.
No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 6 New York Islanders
The Islanders get pretty well torched in Game 1, there’s really no other way to say it. But last night was a whole new game, and the Islanders were looking to turn the page and get themselves back on track in this series. They came out with some jump and made a big statement, as Matt Martin got them on the board just 1:24 into the period. The first period also saw the physicality ratchet up, at points to excess, like when Alex Killorn boarded Brock Nelson, sending Nelson down the tunnel shaken up, and earning Killorn a five minute major for boarding and a game misconduct (this also brought the Lightning, already playing 11F/7D down to 10 available forwards). The Islanders had a real chance to pull away in this game with that five minute power play, but they couldn’t seem to get themselves on the board. And this left the door open for the Lightning to pull this one back within reach, and they did exactly this, care of a goal by Victor Hedman with under two minutes remaining in the period.
The second period saw the Islanders pretty well dominating play from a defensive standpoint, really limiting the number of chances the Lightning were able to generate and keeping them pretty well frustrated. It also saw Brayden Point taking sort of an awkward hit into the boards which had him laboring, and he would leave the game and not return. So, for those keeping track at home, that’s nine available forwards for the Lightning now.
The door was pretty wide open for the Islanders to take over this game, with the Lightning forced to run a short bench, and as they drew a couple of penalties to earn themselves some time on the power play (including 38 seconds of 5-on-3 time), but again they couldn’t seem to find a way to solve Andrei Vasilevskiy. And just as it was looking like we were going to coast into overtime with a 1-1 tie, the Lightning said “absolutely not” to that, and with just nine seconds remaining in the period, Nikita Kucherov beat Semyon Varlamov with a quick shot and secured the win for the Lightning.