New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning: ROUND 3, GAME 3
Time: 8:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Rogers Place
Broadcast/Streaming: USA, SN, TVA-S, FuboTV
Opponent SBNation Site: Lighthouse Hockey
The Lightning were lucky on Wednesday in Game 2, losing two key forwards early on, but they somehow managed to avoid overtime by taking advantage of the Islanders’ lone defensive collapse with 30 seconds left in the game. The penalty kill, which successfully killed off a five-minute major and a 38-second 5-on-3, came up big for the Lightning as well.
Alex Killorn won’t dress for tonight’s game, having been suspended for his hit on Brock Nelson in Game 2, an unnecessary hit that also saw him ejected. The status of Brayden Point, who left in the second period with an undisclosed injury, remains up in the air, but Jon Cooper said the team’s leading scorer might not be available for Game 3. The Lightning got lucky again as Barclay Goodrow’s crosscheck (also on Brock Nelson) went seemingly unnoticed by the Department of Player Safety.
The absence of Killorn (and likely Point as well) leaves a gaping hole in the Bolts’ lines that the team will struggle to fill. The likeliest candidates to draw in are Mitchell Stephens, Mathieu Joseph or Carter Verhaeghe — we’ll see if Cooper elects to dress 12 forwards and 6 defenseman, or stick with the 11-7 combination that has worked out incredibly well for the team this postseason.
The Islanders tried to pull the Lightning down into taking unnecessary penalties, and it did work on one occasion (Yanni Gourde’s penalty to put the team down 5-on-3). For the most part, though, the Lightning stuck with their game, remained patient, and were rewarded when it mattered most. With key players out of the lineup tonight, they’re going to have to do that again — and please, dear god, stay out of the penalty box.
Tonight’s game is about survival — the Lightning may be up 2-0 in the series, but the odds aren’t in their favor tonight, especially as the series shifts to give the Islanders the last-change advantage. They’ll need a full team effort, to play a clean game, and capitalize on any opportunities they have in order to take a stranglehold 3-0 series lead tonight.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - ? - Nikita Kucherov
? - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson
Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman
Cedric Paquette - Patrick Maroon
Alexander Volkov, Mathieu Joseph, Carter Verhaeghe, Mitchell Stephens
Injured: Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point
Suspended: Alex Killorn
Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk
Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn
Injured: Jan Rutta
New York Islanders
Anders Lee - Mathew Barzal - Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey
Andrew Ladd - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Leo Komarov
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Michael Dal Colle, Derick Brassard
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews - Scott Mayfield
Nick Leddy - Andy Greene