Game Results

Event tag that describes the results of a prospect's game

NHL Eastern Conference Final Game Day: 9-13-20 Lightning v Islanders

Top line puts the Lightning on the brink of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.

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NYI-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 27 shots for the win. Tough game for Vasilevskiy mentally because he had exactly squat to do for 30 minutes and then suddenly the game went into overdrive and he had to make several key situational saves.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
11:27 NYI Nelson (9), (Bailey)
11:42 TB Coleman (4), (Gourde, Vasilevskiy)
11:54 TB Palat (8), (Kucherov, Point)

Third Period
3:33 TB Point (9), (Palat, Kucherov)
17:36 TB Maroon (1), (Gourde, Paquette)(EN)

Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

This game scarier than maybe it should've been, but ultimately it went to plan. The Lightning dominated the play for the first half an hour of hockey and probably deserved to have about a 2-0 lead but couldn't find the back of the net. Brock Nelson struck for the first goal and it felt for a second (and only a second) like the hockey gods were going to betray the Lightning, but two quick response goals from Coleman and Palat and the Lightning were on their way. The team's skill level really showed through with the long aerial pass from Gourde to Coleman for the breakaway and the sweet deke finish and then a pretty filthy three way passing play on Palat's goal. The top line had another pretty filthy passing play on the rush for the goal early in the Third Period and that was all the Lightning needed.

The Lightning were just the better team today both at even strength and in all situations. The shot totals show it. The possession stats show it. The xG fancy stats show it. The Islanders have thrown their best punches in these past three games and really I would argue the Lightning are a Ryan McDonagh hand grenade pass from ending this in a sweep. As it is, they'll try to finish this series off on Tuesday. Hopefully Brayden Point feels well enough to go again and some Lightning players who I thought looked a little bushed for parts of this game like Victor Hedman get some good rest. With Dallas being up 3-1 in the WCF it behooves the Lightning to end this Tuesday just in case Dallas does the same tomorrow.

The Lightning being 62% on draws doesn't stink. Great to see.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Eastern Conference Final Game Night: 9-11-20 Lightning v Islanders

Lightning let the Islanders slip the noose.

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NYI-5

Tampa Bay Leads the Series 2-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 35 shots for the loss. Bum luck on the first goal where his pad strap came undone and he was out there having to play basically on one leg. He probably wants the Beauvillier goal back that snuck under his arm, but I can't get too mad given the coverage bust there.

First Period
12:58 NYI Clutterbuck (Pulock, Martin)
16:31 TB Sergachev (2), (Gourde)

Second Period
11:50 NYI Pelech (1), (Pageau, Barzal)
13:50 NYI Beauvillier (9), (Nelson, Toews)

Third Period
2:32 TB Palat (7), (Kucherov, Sergachev)(PP)
12:04 TB Johnson (4), (Cernak, Verhaeghe)
16:35 NYI Nelson (8), (Beauvillier, Bailey)
19:24 NYI Pageau (8), (Bailey)(EN)

Mikhail Sergachev was the game's second star.

Despite having Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point out with injury and Alex Killorn out due to suspension and despite brain cramping their way to a two goal Third Period deficit, the Lightning had this game and this series in the palm of their hands and they let the Islanders off the hook. I'm so incredibly frustrated with this one. The Lightning, despite having two rookies in the lineup and missing their Conn Smythe contender Point, had the possession advantage in this game and for the life of me looked like they had the Islanders on the ropes most of the Third Period and were ready to put the Islanders on the canvas for good. They were first on pucks. They were the aggressor on the forecheck. But, my goodness, they let the Islanders off the hook with unforced turnovers and errors all night and you'll never in your life see a more egregious turnover than that hand grenade pass Ryan McDonagh threw poor Barclay Goodrow to hand this game to the Islanders and give them a lifeline in a series it felt like the Lightning were about to take an insurmountable lead in. There's more blame than that to go around. An awfully soft clear attempt by Mitchell Stephens after a fine PK that led to the Islanders' second goal that gets a rookie busted down to the AHL in normal times. A coverage bust between Shattenkirk and McDonagh in a 4-on-4 situation leaving Beauvillier wide open on the Islanders' third goal. Nikita Kucherov target shooting a point shot into a shot blockers shin pads on the empty netter after the Lightning got a good faceoff win and looked setup to make a push for the tying goal. It's just frustrating. You expect a mistake like that from the rookie Stephens, perhaps, but a veteran like McDonagh can't make the kind of bonehead plays he made tonight. Can't happen. And it's not as if it's a hard work beating talent scenario. The Lightning outworked the Islanders tonight. The possession stats show about a 3:2 disparity in shot attempts, but the Lightning just kept gifting the Isles cheap scoring chances on dumb plays.

Man I'm salty. This should be a 3-0 series lead right now. So annoying.

Silver lining: Alex Killorn is coming back next game and if I had to guess there's a pretty sizable chance Brayden Point will be back for Game Five. And, even without those pieces in the lineup, I think tonight really underscored the talent disparity between the two teams. If the Lightning continue to work as hard as they have been and clean up some of the idiocy we witnessed tonight they'll likely have the Isles down on the canvas by this time Sunday night.

Stephens was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 11:07. Where he did shine, despite his goat horns on the second Isles goal, was in going 82% on 11 draws to spearhead an evening where the team overall hit 58% in the circles. You hate to see all that squandered by brain cramps (talking about the whole team now, not just Stephens).

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Eastern Conference Final Game Night: 9-9-20 Islanders v Lightning

Mine eyes have seen the glory...

NYI-1
TB-2

Tampa Bay Leads the Series 2-0

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 28 shots for the victory. Timely saves upon timely situational saves in a tight 1-1 contest giving his undermanned team the time to manufacture an amazing victory.

First Period
1:24 NYI Martin (5), (Leddy)
18:25 TB Hedman (7), (Goodrow)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
19:51 TB Kucherov (6), (McDonagh)

Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov, and Victor Hedman were the game's three stars.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Well, it was mostly the worst of times. The Lightning, who iced eleven forwards and seven defensemen in the game, lost Alex Killorn to a match penalty boarding major and then later lost Brayden Point to injury putting them down to nine forwards a large part of the game. They had to kill the major penalty in the First Period. They had to kill a 5-on-3 in the Third Period. By all rights, with the adversity thrown in their path, the Lightning had every excuse to pack this one in and move along to Friday night. But, they manufactured a tying goal off a faceoff win in the First Period and, despite their overall manpower disadvantage and heavy legs, they outworked the Islanders for large swaths of the Second and Third Period. You'll never hear this on NBCSN, which has now moved on from acting like North Korean state TV in their Bruins boosterism to being the foremost source for fair and balanced coverage of Matthew Barzal's eminent greatness and generally legendary awesomeness (they're super-objective like that), but the Lightning's expected goals at both 5v5 and in all situations actually was better than the Islanders tonight. That's despite having to kill the major and the 5-on-3. The Lightning didn't luck their way into this win. They earned it. They outplayed the Islanders against all odds.

And, speaking of NBCSN, who in their postgame had the gall to call Nikita Kucherov invisible in this game? Oh my goodness. These people spent the entire game slathering praise on Matthew Barzal like he was the second coming of Jesus Christ himself. Matt Barzal: expected goals for was .28 and expected goals against was .76 (net -.48). Nikita Kucherov: expected goals for was .95 and expected goals against was .48 (net +.47). But please, proceed to tell us all how Nikita Kucherov is a bum and Matthew Barzal can both walk on water and turn it into wine. Clown shoes. Shark jumping clown shoes. Any northern market team that did what the Lightning did tonight would've been lauded for having the heart of a lion and the soul of the champion. The Lightning? "Well Jonesy, let's slag on the guy who scored the game winning goal and then talk about how Brayden Point's injury portends doom for the team despite their 2-0 series lead." It's so ridiculously bad. So unbelievably, ridiculously bad. It's infuriating.

So, get well soon Brayden Point, because if he can bounce back quickly the Lightning look ready to make this a short series because, as well as the table was set for the Islanders in every way in this one, if they couldn't pull off this win they may not have a win in them.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Eastern Conference Final Game Night: 9-7-20 Islanders v Lightning

Lightning construct a snowman over the burned out remains of the Islanders goaltending corps(e).

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Tampa Bay Leads the Series 1-0

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 25 shots for the victory. Made his situational saves especially later in the First Period and then drank from a cool mountain stream named goal support.

First Period
1:14 TB Point (7), (Coleman, Schenn)
4:33 NYI Eberle (4), (Lee, Barzal)(PP)
8:12 TB Hedman (6), (Point, Kucherov)(PP)
10:46 TB McDonagh (1), (Kucherov, Sergachev)

Second Period
4:03 TB Gourde (4), (Maroon, Shattenkirk)
13:18 TB Point (8), (Hedman, Kucherov)(PP)

Third Period
5:51 TB Kucherov (5), (Point, Shattenkirk)
8:46 NYI Leddy (3), (Lee, Eberle)
9:31 TB Palat (6), (Point, Kucherov)
13:15 TB Gourde (5), (Shattenkirk, Hedman)(PP)

Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, and Victor Hedman were the game's three stars.

After a Boston series that pretty much to script, tonight's game did not at all follow any sort of reason or rhyme other than the Lightning just beat the crap out of the Islanders. I thought with the layoff they would look flat, but they dominated 5v5 play in the First Period. The game was chopped up by a lot of special teams, which hasn't been the Lightning's forte in this playoffs, but it didn't matter. The Lightning just had it cooking tonight and once the goal horn sounded for an after-the-fact video review to award Yanni Gourde his first goal of the game to make it 4-1 in the early Second Period the rout was on. And every time the Isles tried to push back, the Lightning seemed ready to physically punk the Islanders back into submission. Luke Schenn built a penthouse apartment in Brock Nelson's head for as much as he physically messed with Nelson after whistles, even after the game was well out of hand and there was no big reason for the Lightning to be the aggressors.

If you're the Lightning you have to expect the Islanders to make a stand in Game Two. The Lightning's confidence has to be soaring and the Islanders' has to be in the toilet and their young players looked frustrated beyond belief. Physically, given how much energy they've exerted to this point, the Isles can't fall down 2-0 and put themselves in a position where they have to win four out of five to advance. They just won't have the gas. And, more importantly, psychologically that team has to prove it's capable of competing with the Lightning after losing a playoff series to the Lightning in the not too too distant past in 2016 and getting smashed 8-2 in Game One of their second playoff series against Tampa Bay in four years. If you're the Lightning, if you can get the first goal or two on the Islanders Wednesday night you might just break the Isles' belief. Yes, Trotz is a warlock. Yes, I expect a much better effort from the Islanders in Game Two. But, if you're the Lightning, you have the chance to throw a drowning team an anvil in Game Two and they look like this year they might just have that killer instinct to do so.

Who should the Isles start in Game Two? Um, zero good options there. Greiss has already lost to the Lightning in a playoff series and he went out really quick tonight. Varlamov, by the end of the game in his relief stint, looked ready to cry. Unless they've got Ken Dryden in his prime stashed in one of their road trunks, they've got problems. And, even if the skaters in front of them play better in Game Two, if they can't get a plus performance from whoever they roll out in that contest they may be cooked.

Victor Hedman only had to play 20:31 in that game? It's a big enough advantage for the Lightning just to have the guy, but to give him nights where he can have a mortal person's workload to conserve energy, too?

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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