The New York Islanders took Game 4 from the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 3-2. Ryan Pulock saved a Ryan McDonagh spin-0-rama shot in the final seconds to secure the fourth game of this now-tied series. Without a doubt, the Islanders should’ve had better control over this game. Going into the third period, New York was up 3-0. But, Tampa scored two very quick goals and definitely made the Islanders sweat it. Those goals were scored by Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson. That being said, Pulock may have saved the Islanders’ season. It was an amazing block and he is truly a crucial player, showing it in the final seconds. Furthermore, he deserved those hugs from his teammates. The Nassau Coliseum was surely rocking and it will live to see another day.
The “Identity Line” Stole the Show
Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin, and Casey Cizikas are pivotal to this team. Furthermore, they were amazing in Game 4. Clutterbuck had two assists, Martin had the game-winner and Cizikas had three hits. Martin and Clutterbuck also had three hits, but Cizikas can get a pass because of his line-mates. The three of them set the tone for this team and they did again tonight. They are legitimately the identity of the Islanders and they don’t get enough credit. Interestingly, Martin missed his brother-in-law’s wedding for Game 4. At least he scored a goal to make up for it, however.
Different Players Stepped Up for Game 4
Heyyy, Josh Bailey! Bailey started off the scoring for the Islanders and gave them a ton of momentum. It was off a spin pass from Brock Nelson and Bailey shot it between McDonagh’s legs. While the second line has surely returned to form, they just need more production out of Anthony Beauvillier. Mathew Barzal scored the second goal of the game off a rebound that left a wide-open net for him. Kyle Palmieri was also great, despite not getting on the scoresheet. Semyon Varlamov also stood on his head in the first period, so that helped.
Pulock Saved the Season
Even though this was discussed earlier, it needs to be discussed again. The season was on the line for this Game 4 and Ryan Pulock saved the game in the final seconds. The magnitude of that save is beyond belief and the Islanders’ chances at the Stanley Cup are still alive because of Pulock. It is certainly the biggest moment of his career. Pulock is a great player and is underappreciated. Tonight, his save was heard throughout Long Island and the rest of the hockey world. The fact that this game came down to the wire as it did was insane. Varlamov was naturally very appreciative of Pulock because he legitimately saved him tonight. What a play and what a win by the Islanders.
The series is now tied at 2 after the Islanders’ Game 4 victory. It is a new best-of-three series–the first team to win two games gets to move on to the finals while the loser gets to sit and watch the finals from home. It will be very exciting and this series is definitely still up for grabs.