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Nikita Kucherov set up three goals and the Lightning beat the Islanders 4-2 in Game 2 of their Stanley Cup semifinal series Tuesday at Amalie Arena.
Jan Rutta and Victor Hedman scored the first two goals by Tampa Bay defensemen this postseason. Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat also scored for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced as the Lightning improved to 11-0 over the past two postseasons in games following a loss, including 4-0 this year.
After Point opened the scoring nine minutes into the game, the Islanders’ Brock Nelson tied the score 4-1/2 minutes later with a power-play goal after a bad goaltender interference call against Point.
Nelson scored from the slot after Ryan McDonagh deflected a Josh Bailey pass on to his stick. The goal came 20 seconds after Adam Pelech shoved Point into New York goaltender Semyon Varlamov, resulting in a goaltender interference call against Point.
Varlamov went to the locker room and was replaced by Ilya Sorokin. Varlamov returned at the start of the second period.
After Rutta and Hedman scored in the third period to extend the Lightning lead to 4-1, Mathew Barzal scored the Islanders’ second goal with just over three minutes remaining.
Here’s how it happened:
LIGHTNING GOAL! Jan Rutta scores through traffic from the right point, the first goal by a Lightning defenseman this postseason. Anthony Beauvillier was unable to get the puck out, and Rutta shot past Josh Bailey with two Islanders players blocking Varlamov’s view. Lightning 3, Islanders 1.
Steven Stamkos draws a cross-checking penalty from Travis Zajac
Casey Cizikas blocks a Hedman blast from the point
Islanders kill the penalty
Zajac slashes Barclay Goodrow, and the Lightning go right back on the power play
LIGHTNING GOAL! Victor Hedman scores his first goal of the postseason and second by a Lightning defenseman off a cross-seam pass from Kucherov. Lightning 4, Islanders 1.
Komarov and Gourde penalized for fighting
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Cernak penalized for slashing Leddy
Lightning clear the puck
Gourde clears the puck
Beauvillier penalized for roughing Kucherov
Killorn backhand attempt stopped by Varlamov
Stamkos misses the net and the puck comes out of the offensive zone
Sergachev shot from the point blocked by Cizikas
Greene clears the puck and the Isles kill the penalty
ISLANDERS GOAL. Barzal scores. Lightning 4, Islanders 2.
Hedman shot goes off the crossbar
Islanders pull Varlamov for an extra attacker
Vasilevskiy saves Bailey shot from the left side
Lightning ice the puck
And another icing brings the faceoff back inside the Lightning zone
Lightning clear, and we have another icing
Cirelli picks off the puck and clears it out of the zone
(Lightning win 4-2)
Varlamov returns for the second period. He may have been instructed by the spotter inside the building to be checked out under the concussion protocol.
Vasilevskiy makes a save on a Beauvillier chance on an odd-man rush.
Cernak with a big hit on Nelson
BColeman penalized for slashing Pageauo lost his, then dives to block a Hedman shot with his right skateB
Blake Coleman penalized for slashing Pageau
Eberle shot from left side saved by Vasilevskiy
McDonagh clears the puck down the ice
Varlamov stops Gourde shorthanded breakaway after a Dobson turnover
Gourde clears the puck out of the zone
Gourde again clears the puck
Cirelli clears the puck
Hedman puts the puck back into the Islanders’ end, and the Lightning kill the penalty
Varlamov stops a couple of Palat chances from in close after a Pulock turnover
Vasilevskiy stops Dobson drive to the net
Pulock shot from the right point blocked by Palat
Cernak blocks Pageau shot
Hedman blocks Mayfield shot, even without his stick
LIGHTNING GOAL! Ondrej Palat scores from the slot after Kucherov gets sprung on a breakaway, skates in a circle to buy time, drawing two defenders to him. Tampa Bay had six men on the ice at the time, but it went unnoticed by the officials. Lightning 2, Islanders 1.
Vasilevskiy stops Eberle and Komarov from in close
Varlamov stops Colton shot from the slot with Maroon in the way
Cernak shot from the right circle blocked by Nick Leddy
Vasilevskiy with a big left pad save on Beauvillier from low in the slot after a tight pass from Bailey in the closing seconds of the period
(Lightning lead 2-1 after two periods)
Blake Coleman hits Cal Clutterbuck
Scott Mayfield steals the puck from Brayden Point
Andrei Vasilevskiy turns away shot from Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Ondrej Palat wrist shot saved by Semyon Varlamov
Victor Hedman wrist shot saved by Semyon Varlamov
Erik Cernak exit out of the zone picked off, leading to some chances for the Islanders
Mikhail Sergachev turnover
Pat Maroon, Mayfield exchange pleasantries after a hit along the boards. Maroon penalized for holding, Mayfield for roughing, so we’ll have 4-on-4 play
Victor Hedman blast from the right point misses wide
Lightning will have a 4-on-3 advantage for just under a minute before we go to 5-on-4 after Ryan Pulock penalized for high-sticking
Varlamov with a huge save on Nikita Kucherov shortly after stopping Point from in close
Kucherov turns over the puck, and Nick Leddy skates it out of the zone
Palat shot knocked down by Varlamov
Maroon stuff attempt stopped by Varlamov
Isles kill the penalty
Jordan Eberle fires wide off the rush from the left circle
Sergachev shot turned aside by Varlamov after Mayfield turnover
Yanni Gourde backhand shot knocked down by Varlamov
LIGHTNING GOAL! Point scores under Varlamov’s left arm from the edge of the crease after a pass from Kucherov from below the goal line. Lightning 1, Islanders 0.
Stamkos penalized for slashing
Goodrow clears the puck out of the zone
Vasilevskiy robs Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri
Hedman clears the puck
Lightning kill the penalty
Adam Pelech pushes Point from behind, and Point crashes hard into Varlamov. Point penalized for goaltender interference.
Varlamov heads to the locker room and will be replaced by Ilya Sorokin
ISLANDERS GOAL: Brock Nelson scores from the slot after Ryan McDonagh redirects a Josh Bailey pass for Kyle Palmieri on the back door. Lightning 1, Islanders 1.
Matt Martin and Maroon penalized for fighting
Stamkos shot turned aside by Sorokin
Alex Killorn draws an interference penalty against Alex Komarov
Sorokin makes blocker save on Kucherov shot
Clutterbuck sticks the puck out of the Islanders zone
Vasilevskiy stops bad-angle backhand attempt from Pageau after Pageau was sprung by Zajac
Nelson dives to clear the puck out of the zone
Sorokin catches Cirelli shot from the right circle
Sorokin stretches to his right to stop Cirelli drive
(The teams are tied 1-1 after one period)
Your pregame scouting report
They can’t play scared, but they can’t be overconfident, either.
The Lightning have shown remarkable resiliency the past two postseasons, going 10-0 in games after a loss, and hope to continue that trend tonight in Game 2 of their Stanley Cup semifinal series against the Islanders.
So while they have no reason to fear falling behind by a game in the series, they don’t want to stumble into a two-game deficit, either.
“It’s easy to panic and kind of feel like we really, really need to win the next game,” defenseman Victor Hedman said. “And we want to win the next game, obviously, but you just have to go out there and play your game.”
With the Lightning, everything is about trust. Trust your game, trust your teammates, trust in the process, and trust that things will work out.
They usually do.
Tampa Bay hasn’t lost back-to-back playoff games since it was swept by Columbus in the opening round after winning the Presidents’ Trophy in 2018-19.
During last season’s run to the Stanley Cup, the Lightning reeled off four straight wins after dropping the second-round opener to the Bruins and beat the Stars in six games after losing the first game of the Cup final. This postseason, they are 3-0 in games following a loss.
To avoid a repeat of Sunday’s 2-1 setback in Game 1, the Lightning spent time Monday reviewing video, reminding themselves of what they need to do to be successful.
Tampa Bay missed numerous opportunities and drew only two penalties, the second in the final minute. Head coach Jon Cooper said Tuesday his team didn’t make the Islanders work hard enough in the game.
They also could use more offense from their blueliners. In a statistical quirk, Lightning defenders continue to seek their first goal of the postseason, 12 games after it started.
Last year, defensemen scored 17 during the 25-game playoff run, including a dozen even-strength goals. Hedman led the way with 10 goals and 12 assists en route to the Conn Smythe Trophy. This postseason, he has 11 assists, only two at even-strength.
Sunday wasn’t all bad for the Lightning. Third-line wing Blake Coleman’s wife, Jordan, gave birth to the couple’s second child, a daughter named Carson, about five hours after the game.
Can Coleman, Hedman and the Lightning turn the page on their Game 1 loss? Follow along, starting at 8 p.m., as they aim to even the series before it heads to Uniondale, N.Y., for Games 3-4.
Setting the scene
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