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So Wednesday night started out great for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but those god vibes would get extinguished by the end of the first period. Not even five minutes into the opening period Ondrej Palat got the Bolts on the board taking an early 1-0 lead however, by the end of the period the New York Islanders would hold a 3-1 lead. Travis Harmonic would get the game tying goal before Shane Prince would tally two goals before going to the first intermission. The Islanders would get a fourth goal from their captain John Tavares before the Lightning would get another from Nikita Kucherov. By games end the Isles would hold a 5-3 lead following an empty net goal.
The first period started off great for the Lightning, but the first shot of the game came almost 2 minutes into the game when Ben Bishop shut down John Tavares. Play would go solidly back and forth in the first period until two Islanders players collided in the Lightning zone opening the Bolts up to a rush on Thomas Griess who would be unable to stop Mr. Playoffs himself Tyler Johnson who’d give the Lightning a 1-0 lead. Just about five minutes later Jonathan Drouin would continue his career resurrection by netting his first goal of the playoffs to give the Bolts a 2-1 lead. Almost four minutes later the Islanders would swarm the slot in front of Bishop. Nikolay Kulemin would redirect a Thomas Hickey shot from the point and get it through the five hole between Bishop’s pads to get back one goal. While the Lightning continued to lead 2-1 the Islanders would continue to lead to Lightning in shots on goal.
The Lightning would start the second on the power play following a cross check penalty at the 20:00 minute mark of the first period. While the Lightning weren’t able to get anything past Griess they did get some quality chances on the Islanders net minder. With eight minutes left in the second and on the power play Victor Hedman would net his first goal of the playoffs to give the Tampa Bay Lightning back their two goal lead. The Lightning would end up out shooting the Islanders 14-5 in the 2nd period taking a 3-1 lead as the period came to an end.
Tampa’s shooting gallery would continue into the 3rd period. Over the course of the first ten minutes Tampa would outwork and outshoot the Islanders 19-1. The Islanders would have a hard time getting the puck out of their zone for most of the 3rd period while Griess would keep his team in the game making amazing saves while the Bolts swarmed. After getting 12 shots on net in the first period alone the Islanders could only muster five in the 2nd and only three in the 3rd for a total of eight… yes you read that right eight shots on goal in two periods. It’s because the Lightning would let them hold the puck for long. Tyler Johnson would seal the goal following the Islanders pulling their Griess getting his 2nd goal of the night.
Game 3 will be Tuesday May 3rd in New York at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
3 Stars of the Game
3rd Star: Victor Hedman (TBL D) – 1 goal 1 assist along with solid defensive play. 3rd star could have also went to Jonathan Drouin 1 goal 1 assist.
2nd Star: Tyler Johnson (TBL F): Two goals with one being an empty netter to seal the game.
1st Star: Ben Bishop (TBL G) – Faced 20 shots tonight turning away 19 and showing game one was simply a fluke.
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