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NYHN Daily: Islanders Even Up Series After Wild Game 4 Finish & More



New York Islanders puck

The New York Islanders defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 3-2 to even up the series at two games apiece. Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock made a tremendous play in the dying seconds to preserve the Islanders slim one-goal lead. This story and more in today’s daily links!

The Islanders scored three goals in the second period, before the Lightning started to crawl their way back. The save of the game goes to defenseman Ryan Pulock, who blocked a shot on the goal line in the dying seconds. “I think everybody’s breath just got taken away,” Barzal said about the play. “I thought it was going in and it was just a miraculous play by Puli. I’m not going to be forgetting that one.” (NYI Hockey Now)

When the 2020-21 New York Islanders season is added to the history books, Ryan Pulock and his game-saving stop in the closing seconds of Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning is sure to be prominently featured. It was by far the play of the game and the save of the year as the Isles defenseman was able to get down and block the shot in the goal crease to secure a 3-2 win for New Yorkand even the best-of-seven series. (NYI Hockey Now)

Ryan Pulock was all that stood between the puck and a potentially devastating result for the Islanders. With goalie Semyon Varlamov out of position, the Lightning’s Ryan McDonagh launched a spinning backhander with a second left in regulation that headed toward an open net. “Your heart sinks there for a second,” Matt Martin said. “A heck of a play by Pulls to save the day there. That’s the kind of desperation all our players play with. A huge play. A game-saving situation.” (Newsday)

Matt Martin had a good excuse for missing his brother-in-law’s wedding Saturday. The New York Islanders forward was busy scoring the winning goal in a 3-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals at Nassau Coliseum. While Martin was playing in Uniondale, New York, Gunnar Esiason, brother of his wife Sydney and son of former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, was marrying Darcy Cunningham in Massachusetts. Boomer Esiason said on his WFAN radio show in New York last week that Martin would’ve been a groomsman if he wasn’t busy trying to reach the Stanley Cup Final. (NHL)

After the final horn sounded, Ryan Pulock was mobbed by his New York Islanders teammates as if he were the winning goalie. In a way, he was. The defenseman’s sliding stop of Ryan McDonagh’s spin-around backhand with 2.7 seconds remaining in the third period preserved a 3-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday. (NHL)

The Islanders are headed back to Tampa, Fla., tied 2-2 in the series and there will be at least one more game at Nassau Coliseum. For all the good the Islanders did, it could have been completely erased if not for Ryan Pulock, whose instinctual play on Ryan McDonagh’s backhand with two seconds left did quite literally win the game in regulation. Here are Arthur Staple’s thoughts after the insane Game 4 ending. (The Athletic)

The Islanders have been a second-period team for the entire postseason, owning a league-high plus-10 goal differential in the middle frame heading into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup semifinals. They added three to that number Saturday night, which propelled the Islanders to a 3-2 win over the Lightning at Nassau Coliseum. (NY Post)

Before the Islanders’ Stanley Cup semifinal series against Tampa Bay even began, Mathew Barzal said he likes to “pick things out” of the game of the Lightning’s Brayden Point to apply to his own. Considering both players are the top-line centers for their respective teams, it’s understandable why Barzal would want to analyze what has made Point so successful. Especially with how dominant Point has been over the past two postseasons. (NY Post)

Pittsburgh Penguins depth defenseman Zach Trotman is retiring at the age of 30. In a heartfelt Instagram post, Trotman said goodbye to the game he began playing when he was four. The defenseman, who is a fitness fanatic, has been besieged by injuries over the last couple of seasons, including core muscle surgery last season and knee surgery in January. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

Sasha Barkov is officially underrated no more. On Friday, the captain of the Florida Panthers was named the winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy which goes to the NHL forward who “demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game.’’ Barkov, who recently completed his eighth NHL season, beat out Boston’s Patrice Bergeron and Mark Stone of the Vegas Golden Knights for the award. (Florida Hockey Now)

Detroit Red Wings’ super prospect Moritz Seider will need some time to become the leading German-born scorer in the team’s history. Most older fans would probably guess defenseman Uwe Krupp currently holds that distinction with six points in 30 games wearing a Detroit sweater. They may not know former Red Wings defenseman Willie Huber (1978-83) was born in Strasskirchen, Germany.  When he was an infant, his family moved to Hamilton, Ontario. (Detroit Hockey Now)

The One That Got Away. It’s a story title so familiar to us because it’s one we’ve all employed at one time or another. Whether about a fish, our favorite car, a business opportunity or perhaps that special person, we all can relate because we’ve all been there. For the Vegas Golden Knights, Friday’s Game Three could become that tale of woe and regret. (Vegas Hockey Now)

Philipp Grubauer is a Vezina Trophy finalist. He also allowed eight goals on the final 47 shots he saw in the playoffs and his team lost the final two games of the second round. He was probably the Colorado Avalanche’s best player in the first 62 games of their season, playoffs included. He had respective saves percentages of .857, .880 and .773 in the final three games of the Avs’ season, all losses. So, what is Philipp Grubauer worth on his next contract, in which he enters as a potential unrestricted free agent? (Colorado Hockey Now)

Not everybody’s sold on Jonathan Dahlen. One NHL scout texted me, after the San Jose Sharks announced that they had signed the 23-year-old winger to a one-year, one-way $750,000 contract: “Dahlen getting a one-way is ridiculous. He played in the Swedish D2.” (San Jose Hockey Now)

The Montreal Canadiens say a change to their coaching staff in the middle of the postseason should not hinder their chances of reaching the Stanley Cup Final. Assistant Luke Richardson was an emergency replacement Friday for coach Dominique Ducharme, who earlier in the day tested positive for COVID-19 and was isolated from the team hours before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals against the Vegas Golden Knights. (NHL)

Marc-Andre Fleury still isn’t exactly sure what happened. The Vegas Golden Knights goalie said he needed to see the replay again, but late in the third period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals on Friday, he went behind the net to play the puck and help his defensemen like he does every game. He didn’t know if the puck spun off his stick or foot or what. Bottom line: The puck ended up on the stick of Josh Anderson, who tied the game with 1:55 left and scored again in overtime to give the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win and the lead in the best-of-7 series. (NHL)

Jaccob Slavin of the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday won the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player voted to best combine sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability. Slavin, who led the Hurricanes this season with 22:59 of ice time per game, was assessed one minor penalty in 52 games, for delay of game/puck over glass, and often played against the opposing top line. It was the fewest penalty minutes among NHL skaters who averaged at least 20 minutes per game (minimum 10 games). (NHL)