The Lightning wasted no time taking an early lead, as Adam Pelech was able to deflect a shot from Alex Killorn, but the puck went right to Steven Stamkos and he scored on the open net. They would add to their lead later in the period, as the Islanders couldn’t get the puck out at the top of the zone, and Yanni Gourde came in on a quick break, banking a pass in off of Andy Greene. The Lightning weren’t done there either, as Ryan Pulock turned the puck over in the neutral zone and after Tampa Bay couldn’t convert on an odd-man rush, a shot from David Savard bounced off Alex Killorn and in to make it 3-0 Lightning. Ilya Sorokin came in after that but realistically, Semyon Varlamov made some good saves and it was much more about how the team was playing.
You could say all three goals came off bad bounces but the Islanders were absolutely brutal defensively in the first period, giving up chance after chance. It was shocking how many odd-man rushes were allowed, as the Lightning just tore the Islanders apart with their speed. It was a disastrous 20 minutes for New York and was the team’s worst period of the playoffs.
The Islanders had a flurry of great chances in the first couple minutes of the second period but missed multiple open net chances. Things went downhill after Brock Nelson took a penalty, which killed New York’s momentum, as Steven Stamkos blasted a one-timer by Ilya Sorokin on the ensuing power play for his second goal of the game. The Islanders took penalty after penalty throughout the frame and despite actually killing off a couple of them, any small hope of a comeback was lost once Ondrej Palat tipped in a point shot with under five minutes to go in the period. Of course, the Islanders would take another penalty after that and Alex Killorn was able to get a stick on Victor Hedman’s point shot to make it 6-0 Lightning. To make things worse, Mathew Barzal made a stupid decision to cross-check Jan Rutta at end of period, which earned him a major penalty and game misconduct.
At this point, we can just hope that he’s able to play in the next game.
The Islanders didn’t fare much better in the third period, as Brayden Point scored the Lightning’s third power play goal of the game just two minutes into the frame. Then later on, Luke Schenn increased the lead to 8-0, putting a shot on net from the point that went off Ryan Pulock’s skate and in.
It was just a terrible game for the Islanders. New York’s defense group, which includes four players who I’d consider to be extremely reliable in their own end, was awful. They didn’t get any help from the forward group either though, who weren’t coming back quick enough to prevent odd-man rushes from developing and struggled to get the puck out at the top of the zone.
Penalty trouble was another massive issue. The Islanders had actually came out strong in the second period and were getting some great chances. As soon as they took a penalty and the Lightning capitalized though, all momentum was gone.
Then finally, we’re now left hoping that Mathew Barzal can play in Game 6. His penalty was a selfish play that could end up costing the team in a huge way.
It was an embarrassing performance from the Islanders all around and I don’t think there are really any positives to draw from the loss at all. Perhaps if there is, it’s that whether they were to lose 8-0 or in triple overtime, it only puts them one game back in the series and New York just needs a win on home ice to extend the series to a Game 7.
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