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Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal and Matt Martin scored in the second period, and the Islanders hung on in the third to survive the Lightning 3-2 in Game 4 of their semifinal series at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.
Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson scored just about three minutes apart in the third period to bring the Lightning within a goal. Point has scored in seven consecutive games.
Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh appeared poised to tie the game in the closing seconds when he got the puck in the left circle and spun, pulling goaltender Semyon Varlamov out of the net. But Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock dove in front of the empty net to stop McDonagh’s backhand shot.
The series is tied at two games apiece as it heads back to Tampa for Game 5 on Monday.
Here’s how it happened:
Bailey intercepts Stamkos cross-ice feed at center ice, leading to a break the other way that ends with Nelson firing wide of the net
LIGHTNING GOAL! Point scores on a toe-drag from the top of the right circle, beating Varlamov stickside. Islanders 3, Lightning 1.
Vasilevskiy makes a save on Greene
Cirelli misses the net with a shot from the right circle
LIGHTNING GOAL! Tyler Johnson scores with a laser from the left circle, beating Varlamov top shelf with Colton setting a screen in front. Islanders 3, Lightning 2.
Cernak goes to the Lightning locker room after taking a hard hit from Martin
Pelech separates Point from the puck on the rush
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Sergachev shot deflects to the sideboards
Cernak back in the game
McDonagh shot from the left circle blocked up out of play by Greene
Bailey shot from in front blocked by McDonagh
Sergachev shot from the right point misses the net
Coleman shot blocked
Colton shot stopped by Varlamov
Colton shoots wide after Varlamov got a piece of it with his glove
Rutta shot blocked by Pageau
Varlamov robs Kucherov from the slot after cross-ice pass from Palat
Vasilevskiy makes a save in front
Zajac blast turned aside by Vasilevskiy after a turnover
Vasilevskiy stops Pelech and Pulock
Lightning pull Vasilevskiy for an extra attacker
Kucherov shot blocked, and the puck exits the zone
Hedman shot through a screen blocked in front
Clutterbuck taken down by Hedman, who is penalized for tripping with 1:12 remaining. A frustrated Hedman slams his stick into the boards
Unbelieveable. With Varlamov out of the net, Ryan Pulock makes a diving stop on a McDonagh backhand attempt in the closing seconds
(Islanders win 3-2 to tie the series 2-2)
Varlamov makes a left pad save on Point on a 2-on-1 from Kucherov, and then Mayfield knocks Point into Varlamov
Johnson drive from the right circle blocked by Andy Greene
Varlamov makes a blocker save on Goodrow shot from the point, then glove save on Hedman
Varlamov knocks down Coleman shot
Nick Leddy shot from the left point covered by Vasilevskiy
David Savard with a strong shoulder hit on J-G Pageau into the boards
Pelech blocks Palat attempt from the right circle
ISLANDERS GOAL: Josh Bailey scores from the right circle. The play started with a Colton turnover at the offensive blue line, leading to a transition the other way. Erik Cernak loses his guy, and with the Lightning defense in scramble mode, Brock Nelson spins at the left circle and sends a backhand cross-ice pass to Bailey, who shoots through the legs of Ryan McDonagh over Vasilevskiy’s glove. Islanders 1, Lightning 0.
Varlamov gloves Cernak shot from the right point that was headed wide of the net
Eberle shot from the left side blocked by Colton
Pelech shot blocked
Vasilevskiy with a kick save
Leddy shot from the point redirected by Beauvillier but turned aside by Vasilevskiy
McDonagh intercepts a centering pass in front of the Lightning net
Sergachev shot from the point through a screen misses the net
ISLANDERS GOAL: Barzal scores into an empty net after Point lost his stick. Palmieri screened Vasilevskiy on the initial shot from the right point. Islanders 2, Lightning 0
Varlamov saves Colton redirect
Sergachev and Palmieri go to the box with offsetting penalties after the goal, setting up a 4-on-4
Cernak penalized for boarding Beauvillier and the Islanders will get a 4-on-3 power play
Goodrow clears the puck out of the Lightning zone
It’s now a 5-on-4 power play for 40 seconds
Eberle shot from the left circle blocked by Savard
Palmieri shot from the left point sticked aside by Vasilevskiy
Eberle shot blocked in front
Lightning kill the penalty
Vasilevskiy saves shot by Nelson from low in the right circle. The puck goes through his legs but deflects wide
Cizikas shot from the right side hits Martin
ISLANDERS GOAL: Martin backhands a rebound into the net after a turnover in the Lightning zone. Adam Pelech kept the puck inside the zone and later got the puck to the net. Islanders 3, Lightning 0.
The Lightning unsuccessfully challenged the goal, believing the Islanders were offsides, and were penalized for delay of game
(Islanders lead 3-0 after two periods)
Barclay Goodrow has a couple of chances from the edge of the crease, but Semyon Varlamov covers the puck
Varlamov with a blocker save on Victor Hedman
Noah Dobson shot from the right point turned aside by Andrei Vasilevskiy
Ross Colton forces an offside with a strong backcheck on Mathew Barzal
Jordan Eberle blocks Tyler Johnson shot from the left circle with Ryan McDonagh joining the rush
Ondrej Palat shot goes wide through the crease
Kyle Palmieri shoots off the post on an odd-man rush
Alex Killorn drives the nut, but Varlamov makes a skate save
Varlamov makes a glove save on Colton shot from the left circle
McDonagh shot from the left point goes off a leg in front of the net
Vasilevskiy makes a save on Travis Zajac from in front
Vasilevskiy stops Adam Pelech shot from the point and then makes a glove save on a diving attempt from Matt Martin on the rebound
Barzal shoots off the left post, and the puck rolls along the goal line but stays out of the net
Nikita Kucherov turns the puck over in the Lightning zone but Victor Hedman sweeps the puck out of the slot
Cal Clutterbuck penalized for roughing Kucherov and the Lightning get their first power play of the game with 7:26 remaining in the period. Kucherov is hit high by Clutterbuck after sidestepping Casey Cizikas at the Tampa Bay blue line
Pelech clears the puck out of the zone
Puck takes crazy bounce off the boards, and Cizikas clears the puck
Vasilevskiy stops Leo Komarov with his blocker on a shorthanded breakaway after Brayden Point turns the puck over at the Islanders blue line
Yanni Gourde shot from the left circle misses the net after a nice pass from Ondrej Palat
Isles kill the penalty
Varlamov makes a glove save with Gourde setting a screen in front
A leaping Vasilevskiy gets a piece of a Leddy shot in front
Brock Nelson shot off the rush saved by Vasilevskiy
Martin puts a shoulder into Pat Maroon, knocking him down, as Maroon tries to check him behind the Islanders’ net
(No score after one period)
Pregame scouting report
With all of their offensive firepower, the Lightning don’t get enough credit for how good of a team they are defensively.
Just as their defenders don’t get enough credit for how much they contribute to the offense.
Head coach Jon Cooper has said it on numerous occasions: he views his team as a five-man unit no matter what zone it happens to be playing in.
Defenders starting breakouts, joining the rush, shooting from the point, making plays at the blue line to keep pucks in the offensive zone or switching places with forwards down low to confuse opponents are all part of the Lightning’s offensive game.
Just as forwards creating turnovers in the neutral zone, backchecking deep into the defensive zone, filling passing lanes and blocking shots are an important part of the defense’s success.
You get buy-in from all five players no matter where they happen to be on the ice as the Lightning have the past two postseasons, and you get a team that is within six wins of its second straight Stanley Cup.
We saw much of that — particularly defensively — in the 2-1 win over the Islanders Thursday in Game 3 that gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup semifinal series. They will need a similar effort tonight to extend their advantage.
Follow our live updates, starting at 8 p.m., as the Bolts hope to win a third straight game over the Isles and return to Tampa with a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.
Setting the scene
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