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TAMPA BAY 8 NEW YORK ISLANDERS 0 (Tampa Bay leads the best-of-seven series 3-2)
It’s tough to play the Tampa Bay Lightning after they have lost a playoff game. Heading into action on Monday night, the Lightning were a perfect 4-0 after a loss and 11-0 dating back to the playoffs last season.
Well, now it’s 5-0 this season and 12 in a row since their Stanley Cup run in 2020 as Tampa Bay defeated the Islanders 8-0.
It was a dominating win by Tampa Bay who did the same thing in Game 1 last season in the Eastern Conference Finals as they dominated the Islanders 8-2 in the Edmonton bubble.
The Lightning came out flying in the first period as Steven Stamkos got Tampa Bay on the board just 45 seconds in. Stamkos cross-ice pass hit defenseman Adam Pelech and came right back to Stamkos who buried it into the yawning cage, past Semyon Varlamov.
The Lightning got another fortunate bounce on the second goal as Yanni Gourde attempted to pass the puck on a two-on-one, to Barclay Goodrow. But the puck went off Andy Greene’s stick and between the legs of Varlamov, into the net to make it 2-0.
Tampa Bay extended their lead to three late in the opening period as Alex Killorn had David Savard’s point shot hit him and trickle into the net.
That was enough for Islanders coach Barry Trotz who pulled Varlamov at the 15:27 mark of the first with Ilya Sorokin taking over.
The Lightning outshot the Islanders 19-5 in a dominating first period with Varlamov stopping 13-of-16 shots before he was taken out.
The Islanders came out strong in the second as they hit a pair of posts in the first minute and had another great scoring chance. But Vasilevskiy shut the door and the Lightning doubled their lead as Stamkos and Killorn each scored their second of the game while Ondrej Palat scored once.
The contest became very chippy and it was something to be expected in a blowout. First, Matt Martin and Luke Schenn dueled with each other getting five for fighting, and then Mathew Barzal cross-checked Jan Rutta in the face at the end of the second period resulting in a major for the infraction as well as a game misconduct. Look for Barzal to get fined by the NHL on Tuesday. Rutta did not return for the third period.
Nikita Kucherov picked up a couple of assists in the middle frame to extend his points streak to eight.
The only question in the third period was whether or not Vasilevskiy would get the shutout. And the answer was yes. Vasilevskiy turned aside 21 shots for his 11th win of the season as he is 11-5 with a 2.05 GAA and a .936 save percentage.
Brayden Point scored a power play goal at the 1:59 mark of the third to give him an eight-game goal scoring streak. Only Reggie Leach of the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers has a longer streak in Stanley Cup action as he had a 10-game goal scoring streak.
Sorokin gave up five goals on 25 shots in the Islanders net.
Stamkos, Gourde and Palat all had five shots on goal for Tampa Bay.
It was a chippy game in the third as there were a total of 85 penalty minutes on the night. Matt Martin had 17 minutes while Scott Mayfield had a 10-minute misconduct. Barclay Goodrow had 14 minutes for the Lightning.
Steven Stamkos – 2
Alex Killorn – 2
Ondrej Palat – 1
Yanni Gourde – 1
Brayden Point – 1
Luke Schenn – 1
Nikita Kucherov – 3
Victor Hedman – 2
David Savard – 2
Shots on Goal
Ondrej Palat – 5
Yanni Gourde – 5
Steven Stamkos – 5
Matt Martin – 17
Mathew Barzal – 15
Barclay Goodrow – 14
Scott Mayfield – 10
Adam Pelech – 5
Yanni Gourde – 5
Luke Schenn – 5
#Bolts #series #lead #big #win