The New York Islanders are trying to keep their season alive and the doors open at the Nassau coliseum in a must-win Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Islanders trail Tampa Bay 3-2 in the best-of-seven series after a clunker in Game 5 at Amalie Arena. New York played its most uncharacteristic game of the year, falling 8-0 and taking 57 penalty minutes. Now the Islanders have to rebound to keep their season alive.
“We just have to bring our best effort,” Matt Martin said this morning. “We’ve earned everything we’ve gotten to this point and we have to go out there and earn the right to continue to play. In front of our home crowd, we need to use the energy in the building and momentum to our favor. Got to get off to a good start. Obviously last game was pretty disappointing. Credit to them they jumped all over us right away and we never really had a chance to find our game and then climb back in.
“The start has been critical and we’ll use our crowd to our advantage tonight.”
The New York Islanders fell behind early in the Game 5 loss, giving up a goal 45 seconds into the first period. The team that has scored first in the first five games of the series has gone on to win each game.
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— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 23, 2021
“It would be nice,” Trotz said about being able to score the first goal of the game. “I think if we’re even after the first period our record is pretty good. It’s amazing we haven’t scored first in many of our wins. We have not been the team that has scored first. It’s amazing where we are based on some of the starts. I think just playing well at the start and not falling behind three pucks as quickly as we did last game will benefit us.”
It doesn’t appear that the New York Islanders will be making any changes to their lineup for Game 6 and Semyon Varlamov is expected to be back in the net for New York as well in the crucial game.
That could mean that Kyle Palmieri and Leo Komarov may be back in their new spots on the first and third lines, respectively.
“To make a change just for the sake of change to evaluate on that game (Game 5) would be pretty hard,” Trotz said. “I think you have to go with your gut instinct. The guys have risen their game when it’s most important. The guys that have got that equity in the bank and shown what they can do when their backs are against the wall and you need a big win. That’s the lineup we will go with and they’ve done.
“You just have to trust that they’ll do it again.”
Jan Rutta did not appear at Tampa Bay’s morning skate at the Nassau Coliseum, according to Joe Smith of The Athletic. Erik Cernak appeared to skate before the main group of Tampa Players. Rutta left Monday’s game after Mathew Barzal crosschecked him in the face and was booted from the game.
The puck drops tonight at 8:15 p.m.
New York Islanders Lineup (Projected)
Kyle Palmieri — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey
Leo Komarov — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Travis Zajac
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene — Noah Dobson
Tampa Bay Lightning Lineup (Projected)
Ondrej Palat — Brayden Point — Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn — Anthony Cirelli — Steven Stamkos
Barclay Goodrow — Yanni Gourde — Blake Coleman
Ross Colton — Tyler Johnson — Pat Maroon
Victor Hedman — Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh — Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev — David Savard
The Islanders have won both Game 6’s on home ice this postseason and are 16-4 all-time in Game 6’s at home, including 15-2 at the Coliseum. … The Islanders have outscored their opponents 23-13 in the second period this postseason for a league-high +10 goal differential. They are 7-0 when leading after the second. … The Islanders rank second in the league in goals scored this postseason (51) and are tied for third in GF/GP (3.00). They have scored 37 5-on- 5 goals, good for second-most in the league. They have outscored their opponents 37-35 in 5-on-5 play. … Tampa Bay is attempting to become the fourth defending Stanley Cup champion in the last 21 years to advance to the Final in the ensuing postseason, joining the Penguins (2016), Red Wings (2008) and Devils (2000). … Tampa Bay has scored 20 power-play goals this postseason — notching multiple power-play goals in a single game six times — and is one power-play goal from matching the franchise record of 21 PPGs from 2004. … Tampa is 11-1 this postseason when scoring the opening goal, including 3-0 against the Islanders in the semifinals.
How to Watch
Tonight’s game will air on NBCSN. On the radio dial, Chris King and Greg Picker will call the game on the Islanders Radio Network. 98.7 FM ESPN New York, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio will carry tonight’s Game 4 radio broadcast.
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