The New York Islanders’ backs are against the wall.
A 12-second span in the second period dashed the Islanders’ hopes of tying their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Tampa Bay Lightning at two. Goals from Blake Coleman and Ondrej Palat erased a 1-0 New York Islanders lead and helped Tampa Bay win 4-1 in Game 4.
The New York Islanders trail in the best-of-seven series 3-1. Game 5 will take place on Tuesday at 8 p.m.
“We have our backs against the wall. We just have to go out there and play and give everything we have,” Brock Nelson said. “It’s going to take a little bit more and a little bit more from everybody. We have the group in here that believes in each other to go out there and get the job done.”
The two goals came a mere seconds after Nelson scored for New York in the middle of the second. Coleman managed to get behind the Islanders defense and Yanni Gourde sprung him for a breakaway with a home run pass from behind the Tampa Bay goal line.
🚨 Blake Coleman
— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) September 13, 2020
Coleman was able to push the by the leg of Semyon Varlamov to tie the game at one.
Palat gave Tampa Bay the lead 12 seconds later when he scored off the rebound at 11:42 of the period. It was Palat’s eighth goal of the postseason.
“The most important shift is the shift after a goal and we failed it twice,” Scott Mayfield said. They put two in on a quick 30 seconds there and it’s tough. We got the momentum a little bit with Nelly’s goal and we go out there next shift and they make a good play. Bounced to him on a breakaway and it’s in the back of our net.
“You have to make sure that shift after a goal is the most important and we didn’t do that tonight.’
Nelson had given the Islanders with his ninth goal of the playoffs after a hustle play by Anthon Beauvillier to get to the puck behind the Tampa Bay net. Josh Bailey was able to get the puck after and find Nelson, who fired a shot off the crossbar and in to give New York the brief 1-0 lead.
Semyon Varlamov made 32 saves in the loss and the Islanders put up 27 shots on Andrei Vasilevskiy.
This marks the first time that the Islanders have trailed by two games in a series. They had let a 3-1 series lead slip away against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Second Round.
“We have one life left,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “I know a lot about this group. This group is invested too much to not give their best effort on Tuesday.”
Tampa Bay added to their lead in the third with a goal from Brayden Point. The Tampa star was able to tap the puck past Varlamov to put his team up 3-1.
Pat Maroon solidified the win with an empty-net goal at 17:36 to make it 4-1.