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NYHN Daily: Islanders Force Game 7, Coliseum Magic, & More



New York Islanders puck

The New York Islanders are not going home. Thanks to a resilient effort and Anthony Beauvillier’s overtime winner, the Islanders are heading back to Tampa. Nassau Coliseum gets one more signature moment as the Islanders come back after trailing 2-0 and win in dramatic fashion. These stories and more in today’s daily links!

The New York Islanders defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in overtime to force a Game 7. Anthony Beauvillier was scoreless in his last 10 games yet found a way to intercept a Blake Coleman pass and deposit the puck high glove-side on Andrei Vasilevskiy to send the Islanders crowd into a frenzy. While it’s not guaranteed that the Nassau Coliseum will get another two games on its historic ice before the Islanders move to UBS Arena, the Islanders gave their fans plenty of hope. (NYI Hockey Now)

We’ve heard “the final game at Nassau Coliseum” more than a few times the last six years. There were the final games in 2015 when it looked like the building was closing for good. But the Islanders returned part-time in 2018 and have called it their home full-time for one last go-around in 2021. While there is no guarantee that there will be another game at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders gave it one more memory with the overtime winner in Game 6 to force a Game 7. Another memory to add to the historic building in Uniondale. (NYI Hockey Now)

Regardless of the outcome on Wednesday night, the Nassau Coliseum was already on borrowed time during the New York Islanders run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Coliseum has provided plenty of memories for those who have played and watched games at the Nassau County-owned facility on 1255 Hempstead Turnpike. The 2020-21 version of the Islanders has only added to those memories, with the latest being a Game 4 last-second save by Ryan Pulock to preserve a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. And it’s what’s given the alumni that still visit the Coliseum so much pride. (NYI Hockey Now)

Anthony Beauvillier scored at 1:08 of overtime, and the New York Islanders evened the Stanley Cup Semifinals with a 3-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday.  Beauvillier won it with a wrist shot from the right face-off circle after a turnover by Blake Coleman. It was Beauvillier’s first goal in 11 games, fifth of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs and first in overtime in the NHL postseason. (NHL)

The New York Islanders’ Stanley Cup dream appeared to be slipping away. But trailing by two goals in the second period of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Islanders dug down and wrote a different ending. The Islanders victory forced Game 7 against the Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Friday. The winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Final to face the Montreal Canadiens or Vegas Golden Knights. (NHL)

Nikita Kucherov left Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals for the Tampa Bay Lightning with an undisclosed injury early in the first period in a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Wednesday, and coach Jon Cooper did not have an update on the forward’s status afterward. Kucherov left after his first shift, 2:22 into the game at Nassau Coliseum, 14 seconds after he appeared to jam his right arm or shoulder while hitting Islanders center Mathew Barzal. He struggled to finish the shift and went to the locker room with a Lightning trainer at the stoppage in play. (NHL)

The Tampa Bay Lightning are out of mulligans.  They had a two-goal lead and a return to the Stanley Cup Final in their grasp in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals on Wednesday but let it slip away, losing 3-2 in overtime to the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. “We had put ourselves in an opportunity to knock them out tonight and we didn’t,” coach Jon Cooper said. “Fortunately, we have another opportunity. We just have to take advantage of that.” (NHL)

Now here’s something you don’t see every day: The winning home team gets showered by beer cans. Not the best look for Nassau Coliseum in what could have been the final playoff game ever played here, but this place has never been about looks. It was pandemonium Wednesday after Anthony Beauvillier’s steal and score 1:08 into overtime to complete yet another Islanders postseason comeback and send them back to Tampa for Game 7 against the Lightning on Friday. (The Athletic)

The Islanders may very well have played their last playoff game at Nassau Coliseum. That won’t be known for another couple of days. If it turns out they have, at least they will know they sent the old building out with a bang, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, in overtime Wednesday night. (Newsday)

Anthony Beauvillier said the place smelled like cigarettes when overtime began, and like beer when it ended, a weirdly appropriate, time-warping narrative arc for the occasion. Cigarettes? What is this, 1972? Well, yeah, kind of, in the sense that if this was the last game the Islanders will play at Nassau Coliseum, it tied a neat bow on a half-century of history with a finale that never will be forgotten. (Newsday)

For the Islanders, there’s still a tomorrow. Intercepting a Lightning turnover just over a minute into overtime Wednesday night, Anthony Beauvillier blasted the puck from the slot, immediately dropped to his knees and slid into a dog pile of a celebration as the Islanders stole a 3-2 win in Game 6 of their Stanley Cup semifinal at Nassau Coliseum — the historic arena that can still hang on to its hopes of hosting its first Cup final series since 1984. (NY Post)

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron had a disappointing end in this season’s Selke Trophy race with a second-place finish, but the B’s center ended up landing some NHL Awards hardware this season after all. Bergeron was named the Mark Messier Leadership Award winner on Wednesday night, which is presented “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey.” (Boston Hockey Now)

The Seattle Kraken will have quite a few big decisions for themselves at next month’s Expansion Draft. They won’t be the only team impacted by the draft, however, as 30 NHL teams will lose a player to Seattle. The Philadelphia Flyers are one of the teams that may be impacted more than others by the NHL Expansion Draft. On Monday, we looked at how the Expansion Draft could weigh heavily on the Flyers in more ways than one. They’ll be losing a player to Seattle and it could also mark the start of a busy period of offseason activity. (Philly Hockey Now)

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman makes first-round draft decisions look easier than they truly are. Through the years, the Red Wings have made some poor first-round picks. But former GM Alex Delvecchio’s decision to take Fred Williams at the  No. 4  pick in 1976 is considered one of the worst mistakes in NHL draft history. (Detroit Hockey Now)

The Washington Capitals’ crease was a sure thing to start 2020-21, but injuries and adversity led to question marks.

In the end, Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek emerged as the unexpected tandem. The two young netminders — and a cameo by Craig Anderson in the playoffs — did what they could, and earned a vote of confidence from general manager Brian MacLellan. Taking the season into account, who is the guy next season? (Washington Hockey Now)

As the Vegas Golden Knights head to Montreal facing elimination in Game Six against the Canadiens, the spotlight is shining brightly on the road team. Lose and you’re done for the summer. Win and you push the series to a seventh and deciding game back on your home ice. Which goalie is the one to start – Robin Lehner or Marc-Andre Fleury? (Vegas Hockey Now)

The Colorado Avalanche have to submit their “protected” list to the NHL and expansion Seattle Kraken by July 17. Sources tell me, that’s about three and a half weeks from now. It won’t be a shock if Gabe Landeskog is NOT on the protected list, and here’s why: Landeskog can become an unrestricted free agent July 28. The Kraken will pick their team on July 21st. (Colorado Hockey Now)

“Good luck.” That’s what one NHL executive thinks about the San Jose Sharks’ chances of winning an Evander Kane trade. “Sources indicate significant friction built up between Kane and a number of his teammates last season,” Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff wrote, “frustration that was expressed clearly to management in exit interviews.” (San Jose Hockey Now)

The Montreal Canadiens are one win from the Stanley Cup Final but know there remains work to be done even if the fan base and city are ready to celebrate. “It’s been a good run so far, but we’re still a long way from what we want to achieve,” forward Joel Armia said. “Obviously, playing in the city of Montreal, it’s been awesome. All the fans have been great and the support has been awesome.” (NHL)

Carl Gunnarsson, who helped the St. Louis Blues win the Stanley Cup in 2019, announced his retirement from professional hockey Wednesday. A knee injury sustained by the 34-year-old defenseman Feb. 22 against the Los Angeles Kings ended his season. He had two assists and averaged 14:26 of ice time in 12 games. “Obviously, the last season was not as expected or as wanted, but that’s how she goes sometimes,” Gunnarsson said. (NHL)

Eric Staal wired a shot upstairs off a Nick Suzuki pass to give the Canadiens a 2-0 lead in Game 5. Emerging second-year star to grizzled veteran. Just over three minutes later, Corey Perry set the table for Cole Caufield to bury his third goal of Montreal’s semifinal matchup against the heavily favoured Vegas Golden Knights. Battle-scarred war horse — literally, after Perry took an uncalled high-stick in Game 3 — to fresh-faced rookie. The sequences were two more examples of a team that’s bottled the right mix of peach-fuzzed youth, veteran experience, commitment to each other, and relentless hard work throughout a memorable spring. (TSN)

Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov exited his team’s Game 6 overtime loss in the first period and did not return following a shift that included a cross-check from New York Islanders defenceman Scott Mayfield and an attempted hit on forward Mathew Barzal. Kucherov is leading the playoffs in scoring with five goals and 22 assists for 27 points over 16 games after missing the entire regular season due to off-season hip surgery. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper did not have an update on Kucherov post-game, but noted the team has plenty of experience playing without the star winger. (TSN)