Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Lightning’s Jon Cooper: Give up a goal, go get a goal

Tampa Bay answers the Islanders with two quick goals and goes on to win Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final and take a 3-1 series lead.
The Lightning's Victor Hedman (77) and Blake Coleman (20) celebrate after a goal during second-period action against the New York Islanders.
The Lightning's Victor Hedman (77) and Blake Coleman (20) celebrate after a goal during second-period action against the New York Islanders. [ MARKO DITKUN | Special to the Times ]
Published Sep. 13, 2020
Updated Sep. 14, 2020

After the Islanders scored the first goal of Sunday’s Game 4, Lightning coach Jon Cooper didn’t bench the players who gave it up. He threw them back out on the ice for the faceoff and told them to get a goal.

“I’m not a big believer in just because you got scored on, you sit on the bench and think about it,” Cooper said after the 4-1 win over the Islanders in the Eastern Conference final at Rogers Place in Edmonton. “Go out there and get it back. Now, I can’t say I thought they’d get it back in 15 seconds.”

But that’s what they did, part of a stretch of three combined goals in 27 seconds, tying the third-quickest in Stanley Cup playoff history.

New York center Brock Nelson started it all. He stuck with the puck, even as center Yanni Gourde tried to bat it away, then sniped a shot top shelf past goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Related: Brayden Point returned to the lineup on Sunday, but will he stay there?

“As a player that prides myself, and our line, on being two-way guys and reliable guys, obviously getting scored on doesn’t sit real well,” wing Blake Coleman said. “Credit to Coop for keeping us out there, giving us a shot to go get it back.”

Gourde said he wasn’t “really happy” after that goal. He just wanted a chance to get the momentum back.

Vasilevskiy played the puck to Gourde from behind the net, while Coleman slipped behind the Islanders. Gourde threw a long, one-hop outlet pass to Coleman. The winger switched the puck from forehand to backhand as he slid the puck past goalie Semyon Varlamov’s pads.

Earlier in the series, Coleman, who hasn’t scored at the same clip with the Lightning as his 21 goals in 66 regular-season games with New Jersey, quipped that the Lightning had three-and-a-half lines that can score.

“It’s big," Coleman said. "Anytime you can respond quickly in a game, it’s going to swing the momentum right back.”

Ondrej Palat added another goal 12 seconds after that, finishing on a nice play from both Kucherov and Point.

The Lightning notched two more goals — one from Point and an empty-netter by Pat Maroon — but that 27 seconds was the swing that determined the game. They now have a chance to finish out the series on Tuesday.

Contact Diana C. Nearhos at dnearhos@tampabay.com. Follow @dianacnearhos on Twitter.