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Thunder Struck: Late Goal Sinks New York Islanders in Game 2



New York Islanders react to Tampa Bay goal

A giveaway behind the net led to the game-winning goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning and a 0-2 series deficit for the New York Islanders.

Andy Green turned the puck over behind Semyon Varlamov’s net and Tampa Bay was able to move the puck around. Ryan McDonagh was able to send a cross-ice pass to Nikita Kucherov, who buried the puck past Varlamov with 7.8 seconds left in the game.

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Wednesday marked just the second time that the Islanders have dropped consecutive games in the playoffs. They did so in their Second Round series with Philadelphia.

“We’ve lost some overtime games, we’ve lost in different ways that have punched us in the stomach a few times in the last series,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “This one is a little bit of a shot to the gut. Every time we’ve done that we’ve got up. You saw us. We had our energy. We had our game today and we just didn’t get the results.

“I liked a lot about our game, other than probably the last 30 seconds of that game.”

Game 2 was a massive improvement over their Game 1 loss. Tampa utterly dominated the Islanders in the series opener, but it was a much different New York team in Game 2. The Islanders held Tampa Bay to just 21 shots while registering 28 of their own and the Islanders generated chances throughout the night.

The problem was they only capitalized on one of them.

The theme of Wednesday’s game will go down as one of missed opportunities. The Islanders went 0-for-4 on the power play, which included a five-minute major for Alex Killorn’s hit on Brock Nelson and 38 seconds of 5-on-3 time.

“We have a 5-on-3, we want to capitalize. You have like 38 seconds so plenty of time,” Nelson said. “You’re hoping to get a look there and that could be a difference-maker in the third. It stings giving one up with eight seconds left. There’s no denying that.”

Brock Nelson Leaves Game 2 Briefly Following Dangerous Hit

The Islanders spent too much time trying to make the perfect play and the shots that they did put on net Tampa Bay starter Andrei Vasilevskiy turned away. Vasilevskiy finished the game with 27 saves.

Varlamov made 19 saves in the loss for the Islanders in his second appearance of the series. Varlamov came in for Thomas Greiss in relief after he had given up three goals in the first period.

“We battled hard. I knew we would,” Matt Martin said. “I said the other night I have a ton of confidence in this team and we believe we can win this series and we still do. It’s a good effort. Unfortunately, we came up short, but you play like that more often than not you’re going to win. Some positives we can take from this, but obviously not the result we wanted.”

Martin scored the game’s first goal 1:24 into the game. Nick Leddy was able to center the puck from behind the net and Martin chipped the puck by Vasilevskiy for the goal.

It was Martin’s fifth goal of the postseason, which matched the total number of goals he had during the regular season.

Victor Hedman tied the game in the closing minutes of the first. After a questionable icing was called, Tampa Bay won an offensive zone draw and the puck went back to Hedman, whose shot from the point hit the post and went in.

Game 3 is on Friday. at 8 p.m.


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