In a do or die game for the New York Islanders, the team looked to extend their season to force a game 6. The Islanders “weren’t ready to pack it in” according to forward Cal Clutterbuck and it showed in tonight’s performance.
The New York Islanders Power Plays Shifts the Momentum in the 1st
The Lightning came out strong in the first looking like the better team. They out-shot the Isles by a large margin in the first period. However, the Lightning made a mistake resulting in an Islander’s power-play that significantly changed the dynamic of the game for the remainder of the period. Nikita Kucherov tripped Brock Nelson with under 6 minutes to go in the 1st resulting in a much-needed power-play. The Islanders capitalized to take the lead in the game. Ryan Pulock fired a slap-shot that clocked in at over 101 miles per hour to take the lead on their first power-play opportunity of the game. Semyon Varlamov had a strong start for the Isles stopping all Lightning chances.
The Lightning Even the Score in the 2nd
The Islanders carried their momentum from the 1st into the 2nd. However, on a rebound, Victor Hedman gets a hold of the puck and buries it in the net. The Isles had their fair share of scoring chances in this period, including a very long delayed penalty in which they wore down Tampa Bay’s skaters. The Islanders had many chances on the delayed penalty and power play but they could not capitalize. Momentum shifted back in favor of the Lightning and even netted another goal. However, after an official review, the play was deemed off-sides. Both net-minders were solid, each allowing only one goal to this point.
A Scoreless 3rd Results in Overtime
The Islanders started the period off slow and it took the team over 8 minutes to get their first shot. The Islanders looked very promising, but Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all of their chances. The Lightning had multiple scoring chances throughout the period. They came close to clinching a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in regulation but failed to cash in on a 4-minute minor that will carry over into the first overtime. Both goalies were excellent not allowing any goals giving their respective teams a chance in a crucial game 5.
The Score Remains 1-1 After 4 Periods of Play
The Islanders started off the period short-handed with Anthony Beauvillier still in the box from the 4-minute minor in the 3rd. They were able to kill off the penalty to keep their season alive. The remainder of the first overtime was even-strength with both sides generating high-quality chances that were turned away by the opposing goalie. The Islanders’ defense played a large part in keeping the score even by getting in front of shots. Varlamov was solid yet again forcing a second overtime.
Eberle Wins it for the New York Islanders in Double Overtime
The Islanders and Lightning both had numerous chances in the game to seal the deal and eventually someone had to net a second goal. Fortunately for The Isles, they were able to extend their season. The goal came on an odd-man rush following the Lightning’s Kevin Shattenkirk whiffing on his shot. Anders Lee got a hold of the puck and skated down the ice creating a 2-on-1 situation and he made no mistake. Lee passed it to Jordan Eberle and he fired it in to end game 5.