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Rapid Reaction: Islanders Self-Destruct in Game 5 Loss

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New York Islanders lose Game 5

The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the New York Islanders 8-0 in Game 5 at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay Leads the best-of-seven series 3-2.

How it Happened: Tampa Bay scored less than a minute into the game to put the Islanders back on their heels. Steven Stamkos scored his first of the series when banged home a loose puck at the side of the net at the 45-second mark of the first period. Tampa Bay continued their assault and found the back of the net again at 11:04 of the first as Yanni Gourde scored a fluky goal in front of Semyon Varlamov’s net. After the Islanders failed to clear the puck, Gourde went to go for a pass across the crease when it hit off Islanders defenseman Andy Greene and got by Varlamov. Tampa scored its third goal of the game after a shot from outside hit off Alex Killorn and dropped into the net.

The backbreaking goal forced the New York Islanders to change goaltenders, with Ilya Sorokin coming in to replace Varlamov for the rest of the game. Varlamov made 13 saves in 15:27 of work.

Steven Stamkos scored his second of the game on the power play at 5:42 of the second period to put Tampa Bay up 4-0. It marked the second multi-goal game of the playoffs for Stamkos. The onslaught continued Ondrej Palat made it 5-0 at 15:43 and Alex Killorn made it 6-0 at the 17:53 mark.

Brayden Point made it 7-0 at 1:59 of the third period and Luke Schenn added their eighth goal at 12:05.

Sorokin made 19 stops in the loss. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 21 of the Islanders’ shots on Monday.

Ugly First Period: The first goal has often dictated the winner in each game of this series so far. That didn’t change on Monday as the New York Islanders played their worst period of hockey in the playoffs and allowed Tampa Bay to score three straight unanswered goals in the opening 20 minutes. Even worse was how sloppily the Islanders play in the period, which saw them allow eight odd-man rushes in the first 15 minutes of the game alone and effectively hung Semyon Varlamov out to dry before he was mercifully pulled by head coach Barry Trotz.

By the end of the first, they were out-attempted 24-13, out-chanced 19-7 and Tampa Bay had eight high danger chances compared to the Islanders three, according to Natural Stat Trick. When it came to shots on goal Tampa Bay had 19, while the Islanders registered just five.

Undisciplined play: It was the most uncharacteristic game the Islanders have had all playoffs. New York took 57 minutes of penalty time in the Game 5 loss and got reacting to the deficit they faced rather than digging down and working their way back in the game. The most egregious penalty the Islanders took occurred at the end of the second period when Mathew Barzal crosschecked Jan Rutta in the face. Rutta was down on the ice for several minutes and Barzal earned himself a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the undisciplined play that could end up in front of the department of player safety.

Rutta didn’t return for the third period.

Up Next: Game 6 between New York and Tampa Bay is on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Nassau Coliseum.

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