Will the New York Islanders be able to put on the same dominating performance as they did in Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in Game 2? They certainly hope so, but that won’t be easy.
After taking the opening game of the Stanley Cup Semifinals on Sunday, the Islanders will look to take a 2-0 lead back to Long Island when the series shifts. New York severely outplayed Tampa Bay in the 2-1 victory, outplaying them in just about every category. However, that means the Islanders are expecting Tampa Bay to come back with some fire when the puck drops tonight.
“You’re going to get their best game tonight and I think from our standpoint we’ve got some growth as well,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said following the team’s morning skate. “We came off our last series, a real physical, heavy series. Took a good chunk of us. … I think as this series goes on the emotional level will go up for both teams and it will be a harder series.
“We’re not worried about the hard, I think our guys embrace the battle, the hardness of the game and what it takes. But you’ll see their best game there’s no question.”
🎥 Trotz Pregame Availability 🎥 pic.twitter.com/6lOBGC3IaA
— x – New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 15, 2021
New York limited Tampa’s opportunities 5-on-5 and held them to just 10 shots in the final period of the game. Nikita Kucherov was the only Tampa player that was able to find the back of the net, which came in the final minute of the game with Tampa Bay on the power play.
Still, even with the effort the Islanders had on Sunday, the Islanders will be underdogs in Game 2 in Tampa tonight. New York did struggle on the power play, going 0-for-3 in Game 1.
“We had a couple of looks. there was a couple of times, obviously, they have a pretty good penalty kill and a group that’s been together for a little bit,” Kyle Palmieri said. “We had a couple of opportunities to get into the zone that things didn’t go our way, but definitely took the time since last game to look at some things and get ready for tonight.”
The Islanders will likely go with the same lineup that they did in Game 1 and Semyon Varlamov is expected to get the start. Tampa Bay isn’t expected to make any changes to their lineup or goaltending ahead of Game 2 either.
New York Islanders Lineup (Projected)
Leo Komarov — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey
Kyle Palmieri – 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
Tampa Bay is 20-10 all-time in Game 2s, including a 2-0 record in Game 2s in the 2021 Playoffs. They are also 11-7 all-time at home in Game 2 situations. … Tampa Bay hasn’t lost back-to-back games in the postseason since Games 3 and 4 of a 2019 First Round series versus Columbus. They are a perfect 10-0 in games following a loss in the playoffs dating back to last year’s playoffs. … Brayden extended his point streak to four games after scoring in Game 1 in the final minute of the contest. He currently leads the in postseason goals with nine. … Game was the first time the Islanders had won the opening game of the semifinals since 1983. … The Islanders are carrying the longest active win streak in the playoffs, entering tonight with four straight wins. … The Islanders have outscored their opponents 19-8 in the second period this postseason for a league-high plus-11 goal differential.
How to Watch
Tonight’s game will air on NBCSN at 8 p.m. 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 radio broadcast.