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
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
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
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
Derick Brassard - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Leo Komarov
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Michael Dal Colle
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews - Scott Mayfield
Nick Leddy - Andy Greene