After having a quiet series, Steven Stamkos looked to take charge and send the Islanders to the brink of elimination with an onslaught victory. An unexpected goal fest occurred as the Lightning offense took command early and never let it go. Tampa Bay improved to 12-0 following a loss and took a commanding 3-2 series lead. Just how were the Lightning able to rebound from a rough loss? Scoring plenty and early helped Tampa Bay achieve the bounce back game they were looking for.
Captain comes to life
The Lightning looked to use the home crowd noise to their advantage and gain early momentum in the period. They did just that thanks to captain Steven Stamkos. He initially passed the puck to Alex Killorn who then passed it right back to Stamkos and ripped it past Semyon Varlamov for the early 1-0 lead. After the goal, the Lightning maintained control of the puck and rarely lost the puck to their end of the ice. J.G. Pageau had the best scoring opportunity for the Islanders up to this point, but Vasy easily made the save.
With just under 9 minutes to go in the period Tampa Bay added to their lead. Yanni Gourde took advantage of a turnover and slid the puck 5-hole past Varlamov to give the Bolts a 2-0 lead. Tampa Bay was able to pick apart the Islanders defense which resulted in numerous odd man rushes in favor of the Lightning.
The constant pressure by the Lightning offense kept the Islanders defense busy and created more turnovers. The Lightning noticed the miscue by the Islanders bench and yet again scored off a turnover. Alex Killorn found a loose puck off a rebound and gave the Bolts a 3-0 lead with over 4 minutes to go in the period. Following the goal, New York pulled Varlamov and replaced him with rookie goaltender Ilya Sorokin. Tampa dominated for the rest of the period and looked to replicate that in the 2nd period.
Keeping the foot on the gas pedal
The Islanders looked to get the offense going early in the 2nd period and nearly scored within the first minute of play. Vasy made some spectacular saves along with help from the crossbar to keep the Islanders off the scoring board. Josh Bailey nearly scored for New York, but unfortunately for him all he heard was the sweet sound of iron. The Islanders looked to keep the pressure on the Bolts defense and get back in the game.
Afterwards, the first penalty of the night was called as Brock Nelson went to the box for hooking. The Bolts looked to add to their lead on the man advantage and would do so. Captain Stamkos struck again with a snipe from the circle on the power play that no goalie had a chance at stopping. Tampa extended the lead to 4-0 and once again regained momentum. Minutes after the goal Tampa Bay would once again head to the power play as Cal Clutterbuck is called for interference.
Did someone say goal?
New York was able to kill off the penalty and were desperate to get their offense going like they did in the beginning of the period. Unfortunately for the Islanders, Kyle Palmieri was called for tripping giving the Bolts a third opportunity on the man advantage. The Islanders again killed off the penalty and the score remained 4-0. The goal scoring continued after David Savard kept control of a rolling puck. He then fired the puck on net and Ondrej Palat tipped it past Sorokin. After the goal Matt Martin and Luke Schenn dropped the gloves due to Martin making contact with Vasy. It seemed an onslaught was brewing for the Lightning at this point.
4 on 4 action followed suit for almost the remainder of the period. Then, the nightmare continued for New York as the Lightning took a loose puck, passed it to Victor Hedman, and Killorn tipped it in for the 6-0 lead. Afterwards, Ryan McDonagh was called for cross checking giving the Islanders their first power play of the night. After the whistle to end the period, Matthew Barzal cross checked Jan Rutta hard onto the ice and the penalty would be reviewed. Barzal was given a 5 minute penalty and a game misconduct for the hit.
Bolts show no mercy with onslaught
Frustration by the Islanders caused them to lose one of their stars for the remainder of the game and Tampa Bay looked to continue the onslaught. Point scored on the power play to extend his goal streak to 8 games giving the Lightning a 7-0 lead. After a mostly quiet second half of the period Schenn scored his first of the playoffs to extend the lead to 8-0. He did not get much on the shot, but it bounced off an Islander and went past Sorokin.
Following the Schenn goal, Scrums ensued towards the later minutes of the period after Barclay Goodrow cross-checked Casey Cizikas. Numerous players were sent to the locker room and the Islanders received a power play. Tampa Bay killed off the penalty and went on to win Game 5, 8-0. The win was Tampa Bay’s largest margin of victory in team history and they now look to close out the series in Game 6.
Three stars of the game
1st Star: Steven Stamkos – 2 goals 1 assist
2nd Star: Alex Killorn – 2 goals 1 assist
3rd Star: Brayden Point – 1 goal 1 assist
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