Tampa Bay opens the gates of hell on the Islanders.
Tampa Bay Leads the Series 3-2
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 21 shots he faced for the shutout victory. Didn’t have a ton of work. Made what he had look pretty easy.
0:45 TB Stamkos (6), (Killorn, Cirelli)
11:04 TB Gourde (4), (Coleman)
15:27 TB Killorn (7), (Savard)
5:42 TB Stamkos (7), (Hedman, Kucherov)(PP)
15:43 TB Palat (4), (Savard, Kucherov)
17:53 TB Killorn (8), (Hedman, Point)(PP)
1:59 TB Point (13), (Kucherov, Stamkos)(PP)
12:05 TB Schenn (1), (Maroon, Colton)
Steven Stamkos, Alex Killorn, and Vasilevskiy were the game’s three stars.
What’s funny is three hours ago or so I was wringing my hands a little about Erik Cernak being out of the lineup.
The Lightning parlayed their Third Period comeback attempt in Game Four into a 60 minute dismantling of the New York Islanders in Game Five. Quite simply, one of the most complete humiliation that one team has ever put on another in NHL playoff history. Did the Lightning get some puck luck? Sure. When you outshoot a team 41-21 and completely blow them off the rink possession-wise, you’re going to get the lion’s share of the bounces. The Lightning came out breathing fire and the Islanders were just a bit off in playing their system and you see the results. This is the problem for the Islanders: their margin of error is so incredibly slim against the Lightning because of the talent disparity. And, to the Lightning’s credit, they did not let the Islanders off the mat even after the game was well in hand. They didn’t let the Islanders get a single thing to feel good about and draw momentum from going into Wednesday’s game. Simply ruthless by the Lightning.
Oh, and Mat Barzal is staring down a potential suspension for cross checking Jan Rutta in the face and subsequent abuse of the officials thereafter. I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance the league will suspend the star player of a New York team for an elimination game, but he invited the possibility with his actions.
I fully expect Trotz to give his team the green light to go full dirtbag in Game Six facing elimination and basically dare the refs to call it like they should. I don’t think he has any choice. Without getting physical to generate the necessary turnovers, I don’t think the Isles can bank of getting enough offense on their own. And, I think the Lightning sent some messages in the Third Period that they’ll be ready if the Islanders want to travel down that road. This Lightning team already survived a physical war against the Florida Panthers. They’re no punks.
Ross Colton had a helper and was +1 with 3 shots and 2 hits in 13:10. He was also 40% on five draws.