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New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning preview: Wash, rinse, and repeat for Game 2

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Forget about Game 1, the real series starts tonight.

New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning: ROUND 3, GAME 2

Time: 8:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Rogers Place

Broadcast/Streaming: NBCSN, SN, SUN, FS-O, TVAS

Opponent SBNation Site: Lighthouse Hockey

Preview:

The pessimist in me was worried as the Tampa Bay Lightning kept racking up the score in Game 1, because usually when a team like the New York Islanders gets spanked, they come back with a vengeance in Game 2. If the Lightning’s postgame interviews were any indication, they’re well aware of that as well — and I’d expect the Islanders to bring nothing but their best game of the year tonight.

The 8-2 trouncing by the Lightning featured many good things, especially where the team’s top line was concerned. The Palat-Point-Kucherov line basically dummied the Islanders for the better part of 60 minutes. The team didn’t miss a shot on goal until there were only 67 seconds left in the game, and they showed no signs of rust despite having a week off.

I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but after 12 postseason game previews, I’m pretty tired of saying it: the unnecessary penalties need to stop. The Lightning were well-aware that Game 1 was a one-off in postgame interviews, and the Islanders did tie the game on the powerplay early in Game 1. The Islanders only went 1-for-6 on the man-advantage but if the Lightning continue to hand them those opportunities, it won’t be long before they capitalize on them.

The biggest question for the Islanders heading into tonight is: who starts in goal? Thomas Greiss was pulled after allowing 3 goals on 9 shots, but Semyon Varlamov was arguably worse in relief. Plus, Varlamov took a puck to the neck and was clearly shaken up on the play, despite remaining in the game.

Multiple franchise records fell in Game 1, but the Lightning should only look forward from here on out, as if Monday’s game never happened. It’s worth noting that the two other times the Islanders allowed 8 goals in a playoff game, they came back to win both of those series. The rest of this series should be a lot closer than Game 1 indicated, and the Lightning will need their A-game again tonight against an Isles team hungry for revenge.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson

Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman

Carter Verhaeghe - Cedric Paquette - Patrick Maroon

Mitchell Stephens, Alexander Volkov, Mathieu Joseph

Injured: Steven Stamkos

Defense Pairs

Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk

Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn

Injured: Jan Rutta

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

New York Islanders

Forwards

Anders Lee - Mathew Barzal - Jordan Eberle

Anthony Beauvillier - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey

Derick Brassard - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Leo Komarov

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Michael Dal Colle

Defense Pairs

Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews - Scott Mayfield

Nick Leddy - Andy Greene

Goaltenders

Semyon Varlamov

Thomas Greiss