The Lightning’s Game 5 double-overtime loss came with plenty of bruises as the Islanders staved off elimination, pulling within 3-2 in the Eastern Conference final.
Tampa Bay already was fighting more of an uphill battle in the potential clinching game without Brayden Point in the lineup. And additional players like Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Mikhail Sergachev getting banged up didn’t help.
About midway through the second period, Kucherov took a hit along the boards from New York’s Brock Nelson. The Lightning forward stayed down on the ice before gingerly getting back up and skating toward the bench. He was checked by head athletic trainer Tom Mulligan before returning to play.
Toward the end of the third period, Sergachev took a high stick from New York’s Anthony Beauvillier, which drew a four-minute penalty for the Islanders (and extended into the first overtime period).
Sergachev took the toe of the stick to his mouth, drawing blood. He stayed down in a crouched position before making his way to the team bench, icing his mouth while he took a break in play.
Late in the third period, Mulligan also checked on Palat. The forward didn’t miss his shift, however, and played on the power play coming off of the Sergachev penalty.
After Game 5′s loss, coach Jon Cooper did not have an update on Point’s possible return. Point appeared to injure his hamstring or hip in Game 2. He missed the next game, and just like Tuesday, the Islanders prevailed.
“It’s too hard to tell right now,” Cooper said of Point. “Tough question to answer. Got to wait.”