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Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde scored goals as the Lightning beat the Islanders 2-1 in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup semifinal series Thursday at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.
After dropping the opening game of the series, Tampa Bay won the past two to take a two-games-to-one lead.
Gourde scored off a cross-crease pass from Blake Coleman to open the scoring in the first period.
New York’s Cal Clutterbuck tied the score during a net-front scramble late in the second. But Point scored while being pushed to the ice by Casey Cizikas less than three minutes later to restore Tampa Bay’s lead.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 of 28 shots to pick up his 10th victory of the postseason.
Here’s how it happened:
Zajac shot from the side of the net goes off Vasilevskiy’s glove, and then Savard knocks the puck out of harm’s way
Barzal shot from the left circle goes wide
Leddy shot blocked by Savard
Mayfield shot doesn’t get through to the net
Pageau shot gloved by Vasilevskiy
Stamkos shot of the rush hits Varlamov in the mask
Cernak sore after a big block
Varlamov stops Rutta from the slot
Rutta shaken up after hit from Martin
Varlamov gloves a McDonagh shot from the left circle after a give-and-go with Gourde
Isles pull Varlamov for an extra attacker
Barzal loses the puck to McDonagh
Hedman clears the puck out of the zone
Goodrow collects a loose puck in the neutral zone
Killorn gets to a loose puck and clears the zone
Another Lightning clear
McDonagh picks off a pass at center ice
(Lightning win 2-1)
Matt Martin shot off the rush gloved by Vasilevskiy.
Jan Rutta shot blocked by Pageau
Ondrej Palat blocks Andy Greene shot
Tyler Johnson shot wide of the net
Ross Colton shot from the left circle goes off Varlamov’s mask
Vasilevskiy loses the puck behind the net, but Gourde is able to clear the puck out of trouble
Cirelli sets up Killorn in front of the net, but the shot won’t go
Komarov shot from the left circle misses the net
Clutterbuck checks Point
Palmieri shot from below the left circle stopped by Vasilevskiy
Pelech shot from the left point misses the net
Pulock blocks Cirelli shot from in front
Vasilevskiy loses track of the puck after Pageau shot from the left side off the rush goes through him, but the puck goes wide of the net
Barzal just misses from in front, hitting the crossbar
Pelech slap shot saved by Vasilevskiy
Sergachev penalized for roughing Palmieri, and the Islanders get the first power play of the game
McDonagh knocks puck ahead to Coleman, who clears it out of the zone
Cernak, Cirelli, Killorn combine to get the puck back out
Eberle shot from right circle saved by Vasilevskiy
Lightning clear the puck, and that will kill the penalty. Islanders got one shot with the man-advantage
ISLANDERS GOAL: Pulock shoots the puck in and it takes a crazy carom off the boards, hitting the back of the net. Cizikas puts the puck in front, and Matt Martin shots from down low. During a mad scramble in front, Cernak tries to push the puck back to Vasilevskiy, but Clutterbuck puts the puck in the net. Lightning 1, Islanders 1.
Pelech penalized for interfering with Kucherov
Hedman shot from the point saved by Varlamov
Lightning called for a hand pass, which will bring faceoff out of the offensive zone
Leddy blocks Kucherov shot
LIGHTNING GOAL! Four seconds after the power play expired, Brayden Point scores while being pushed to the ice by Cizikas. Lightning 2, Islanders 1.
(Lightning lead 2-1 after two periods)
Jan Rutta shot from the right point steered aside by Semyon Varlamov
Scott Mayfield shot from the right point hits teammate Josh Bailey
Mayfield shot from the point deflected out of play
Kyle Palmieri bad-angle shot goes off Andrei Vasilevskiy’s mask
Palmieri knocks Mikhail Sergachev into the boards on the forecheck
Mayfield shot from the right point gloved by Vasilevskiy
Cal Clutterbuck centering pass from below the left circle caught by Vasilevskiy
Adam Pelech shot misses the net
Nikita Kucherov loses puck to Mathew Barzal in the slot but blocks Barzal’s shot
Erik Cernak shot from between the circles blocked by Varlamov
Barzal shot from left circle high and wide
Barzal hits the side of the net
Steven Stamkos shot from the left side does not get through to the net
Brayden Point from the right circle blocked
Vasilevskiy stops Palmieri shot from in front with left arm after Pageau feed from below the goal line
Mayfield shot from the right point wide of the net
Stamkos fans on the shot after getting the puck in the slot
Ross Colton shot from the left circle blocked by Barzal
Andy Greene wrist shot from the point wide left
Colton shot misses wide
LIGHTNING GOAL! Yanni Gourde scores off a cross-crease pass from Blake Coleman, who retrieved his own rebound. Lightning 1, Islanders 0.
Casey Cizikas shot misses the net
Brayden Point shot from the slot gloved by Varlamov
Jan Rutta hit hard by Adam Pelech
Shot-pass from Victor Hedman from the left circle to Kucherov driving the net deflected up over the net
Cizikas deflects Ryan Pulock shot from the right point in on Vasilevskiy
Anthony Beauvillier shot from the left side blocked by Stamkos
Pulock breaks up Ondrej Palat pass for Brayden Point in the slot off the rush
Pelech puts a body check on Kucherov
(Lightning leads 1-0 after one period)
Your pregame scouting report
This feels like a big game.
Like, series-altering big. Which, of course, would mean season-altering.
The Lightning showed Tuesday they can come back from a series deficit, beating the Islanders 4-2 to even their Stanley Cup semifinal series at one game apiece.
But lose Game 3 tonight at Nassau Coliseum and they will be down in a series after three games for the first time since being swept by Columbus in the opening round in 2018-19.
Tampa Bay dropped the opening game of the Eastern Conference semifinal against Boston and Cup final against Dallas last season before storming back to win the next four over the Bruins and four of the next five against the Stars.
But the last time they came back to win a series after losing two of the first three games was the opening round in 2014-15, when they came from behind to beat the Red Wings in seven games.
Since then, they’ve dropped every series in which they trailed after three games: to the Penguins (2015-16 conference final), Capitals (2017-18 conference final) and Blue Jackets (2018-19 conference quarterfinal).
So, let’s just say a win tonight could be important. Particularly against an Islanders team whose tight-checking style, strong goaltending and forward depth might present the biggest challenge remaining in Tampa Bay’s path.
But it will be unfamiliar territory, for sure.
Follow along, starting at 8 p.m., as the Lightning aim to take their first lead of the series that could put them in the Cup final for the second straight year.
Setting the scene
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