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Beauvillier, Islanders beat Lightning in OT to force Game 7

Beauvillier, Islanders beat Lightning in OT to force Game 7

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Trailing by two goals in the second period of an elimination game, the New York Islanders kept their composure. They got one goal before the end of the period, and tied it in the third.Anthony Beauvillier then stole the puck and scored 1:08 into overtime as the Islanders rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Wednesday night to force a deciding Game 7 in their Stanley Cup semifinal series.“We knew we had a lot of time on the clock still,” star center Mathew Barzal said. “Just stuck with it and fortunate enough to get two goals and tie it up, and obviously win in overtime.”Jordan Eberle and Scott Mayfield also scored for the Islanders, with Barzal getting assists on both. Semyon Varlamov finished with 22 saves. It was a big response after an 8-0 loss in Tampa in Game 5 on Monday night.“We knew we were going to bounce back,” Beauvillier said. “Even going down 2-0, I thought we were still on top of our game. We were having good shifts and we just stuck with it. Obviously a huge character win.”Beauvillier got his stick on the puck to pick off Blake Coleman’s pass for Jan Rutta in the right circle, gathered it and quickly beat Andrei Vasilevskiy on the first shot on goal of the extra period. It was Beauvillier’s first career playoff overtime goal, and his first score since Game 1 of the second round against Boston.With this possibly the final game at Nassau Coliseum as the Islanders plan to move into their new home at UBS Arena next season, fans showered the ice with beer cans and bottles in celebration.“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Barzal said. “A little dangerous, but you don’t see that too often, so we embraced it. That’s the Islanders faithful — they’re passionate, they get excited, and it was good stuff.”Brayden Point scored for the ninth straight game and Anthony Cirelli had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who lost playoff scoring leader Nikita Kucherov (27 points) to an apparent injury early in the first period. Vasilevskiy stopped 25 shots.“We battled hard, we were short from the beginning,” Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos said. “We played a hell of a game to get up 2-0. We knew they were going to push. It’s two good teams going at it at the best time of the year. For the most part, I thought we played pretty solid. … We didn’t get the job done tonight, but we get to go back in front of our fans and get the job done there.”Game 7 is Friday night in Tampa, Florida.Trailing 2-1, the Islanders came out strong to start the third, getting the first seven shots of the period. Mayfield tied at 2 with 8:44 left when he got a pass from Barzal, skated into the right circle and beat Vasilevskiy with a shot that went in off the crossbar.“We found a way to win, which is huge for us,” Beauvillier said. “Everyone’s happy and we get to go to Tampa for Game 7.”Vasilevskiy had a nice glove save on Barzal two minutes into the second to preserve Tampa Bay’s 1-0 lead.Cal Clutterbuck engaged in some pushing and shoving with Tyler Johnson and Blake Coleman, drawing a roughing penalty to put Tampa Bay on the power play 6 1/2 minutes into the second.The advantage lasted a minute as Victor Hedman was called for tripping and then Mikhail Sergachev was whistled for interference 45 seconds apart. The Islanders managed just one shot during the 5-on-3, and one on the remaining advantage.Cirelli made it 2-0 with 7:24 left in the second on a breakaway as he brought the puck up the left side and beat Varlamov between the legs for his fourth of the postseason.The Islanders got on the scoreboard less than two minutes later as Barzal brought the puck up the middle of the ice and passed it off to Eberle, who skated in a put backhander past Vasilevskiy with 5:38 remaining.Tempers flared at the second-period buzzer as Stamkos and Mayfield were involved in some pushing and shoving. Mayfield and Coleman received roughing penalties.The Islanders outshot the Lightning 7-6 in a tightly played first period. Point got the Lightning on the scoreboard with a backhander from the left side off a rebound of a shot by Cirelli, taking Kucherov’s spot on the top line, for his league-best 14th of the playoffs. His streak is one shy of the NHL record set by Reggie Leach in 1976.ELIMINATIONThe Islanders improved to 8-2 all-time when facing elimination at home in Game 6 of a postseason seriesSCORING SWINGSCirelli scored Tampa Bay’s 12th consecutive goal dating to the third period of Game 4 on Saturday night. The Lightning scored twice in that period in a 3-2 loss and then won 8-0 in Game 5 on Monday night. The Islanders scored the last three in this one to even the series.RALLYINGIt was the first time in the series the team that scored first didn’t win. The Islanders improved to 6-6 this postseason when giving up the first goal. The Lightning fell to 11-2 when scoring first.———Follow Vin Cherwoo at http://www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP———More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Martin, Pulock help Isles top Lightning 3-2 to tie series

Martin, Pulock help Isles top Lightning 3-2 to tie series

Matt Martin capped New York’s three-goal second period and the Islanders held on to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 to even their Stanley Cup semifinal series at two games apieceBy VIN A. CHERWOO AP Sports WriterJune 20, 2021, 3:19 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleUNIONDALE, N.Y. — Matt Martin capped New York’s three-goal second period, Ryan Pulock made a diving stop in front of an open goal in the closing seconds and the Islanders held on to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 Saturday night to even their Stanley Cup semifinal series at two games apiece.Josh Bailey and Mathew Barzal also scored, and Cal Clutterbuck and Adam Pelech each had two assists. Semyon Varlamov finished with 28 saves to help the Islanders win a Game 4 to tie a series after dropping the previous game at home for the third time this postseason.Brayden Point had a goal for the seventh straight game, and Tyler Johnson also scored for the defending champion Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 27 saves.Game 5 is Monday night in Tampa, Florida, with Game 6 back at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday night.The Lightning pulled Vasilevskiy for an extra skater with about 1:50 left, but he returned to the ice 38 seconds later when Victor Hedman was called for tripping Clutterbuck to give the Islanders a power play.Tampa Bay’s Ryan McDonagh had the puck on the left side in the waning seconds, spun around to get away from Brock Nelson and drew Varlamov forward before sending the puck at the open net. But Pulock’s dive kept the puck out and preserved the win.Vasilevskiy gave up his most goals since he allowed four in Game 4 of the second round against Carolina. He had a shutout in the series-clinching Game 5 and then had limited the Islanders to five goals in the first three games of this series.Point got the Lightning on the scoreboard 3:45 into the third as he brought the puck up the right side and beat Varlamov with a shot from nearly 50 feet out. It was Point’s league-best 12th of the postseason and tied Claude Lemieux (1997), Joe Sakic (1996), Mario Lemieux (1996), Pat LaFontaine (1992) and Mario Lemieux (1991) for the longest streak in the last 30 years.Johnson made it 3-2 nearly 3 minutes later as he got the puck in the corner, skated around one Islanders player, moved toward the net and beat Varlamov up high on the right side with teammate Ross Colton and Pulock screening the goalie.Varlamov had six saves over the first 3 minutes of the second, including consecutive tries in close by Point that drew chants of “Var-ly! Var-ly!” from the home crowd.The Lightning were outshooting the Islanders 17-4 at the time, but New York dominated the rest of the period as it scored three times while outworking Tampa Bay with a 17-3 edge on shots on goal.The Islanders got on the scoreboard at 5 1/2 minutes on their third shot on goal of the period — and seventh of the game. Nelson brought the puck up the left side, drew a couple of Lightning players to him as he spun around and sent a cross-ice pass to Bailey, who quickly beat Vasilevskiy high on the glove side from right circle for his sixth of the postseason.Barzal made it 2-0 with 6:14 left as he got the rebound of a shot by Clutterbuck from the right point and quickly put it into the open net from the left side with Kyle Palmieri screening Vasilevskiy in front. It was Barzal’s sixth of the playoffs, all coming in the last nine games.Pelech sent a shot toward the net from the left side that was stopped by Vasilevskiy. The rebound went to the right side, where Martin backhanded it into the top left corner to make it 3-0 with 2:03 left. The Lightning challenged for offside on the entry into the offensive zone, but the play was upheld after a video review — confirming the Islanders’ seventh three-goal period in 16 games this postseason.POWER PLAYSThe Lightning went 0 for 1 on the power play — with no shots on goal — to fall to 2 for 9 in the series. In the first two rounds, Tampa Bay converted on 42% of its chances.The Islanders were 0 for 3 with the man advantage, falling to 1 for 11 in the series. They are 23% for the postseason.SCORING FIRSTThe team that scored first has won each of the first four games of this series. The Islanders improved to 5-1 when getting the first goal. They are 5-5 when the opponent scores first.The Lightning, 10-1 when scoring first, fell to 0-4 when allowing the first goal.———Follow Vin Cherwoo at http://www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP———More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub///NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Point scores again, Lightning beat Islanders 2-1 in Game 3

Point scores again, Lightning beat Islanders 2-1 in Game 3

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — After keeping up his scoring touch to help Tampa Bay get a big road victory its Stanley Cup semifinal series, Brayden Point was especially proud of the Lightning’s defensive effort.Point got the tiebreaking goal late in the second period, Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 shots and the Lightning beat the New York Islanders 2-1 on Thursday night to take a 2-1 series lead.The Islanders outshot the Lightning 8-5 in a tight third period, but couldn’t tie it. They pulled goalie Semyon Varlamov for an extra skater with about 1:48 remaining but couldn’t manage a shot on goal.”“They had some control late, something to look at,” Point said “We still had guys sacrificing, blocking shots and all that good stuff. We’ll take the win for sure.”Yanni Gourde also scored to help Tampa Bay improve to 6-1 on the road in the playoffs.“We kept the game really simple,” Gourde said. “We managed the game for most part of the game and that was the key, especially in the third period. We closed the ice pretty well and we got the puck deep whenever we got the chance. I think that was very important for us.”Cal Clutterbuck scored for the Islanders, and Varlamov finished with 23 saves.Game 4 is Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum, with Game 5 back in Tampa on Monday night.“Tampa’s good all around,” the Islanders’ Matt Martin said. “They’re the defending Stanley Cup champions and they know what it takes to win. … They know what they have to do in their D zone.”Both teams had chances in a fast-paced second period. The Islanders had some sustained pressure in the offensive zone midway through, but couldn’t beat Vasilevskiy. The goalie denied a shot by Adam Pelech with 6 minutes to go and Mathew Barzal hit a goalpost seconds later. Vasilevskiy then denied Barzal’s tip try.”We have to get more pucks, we have to get inside,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “We had some chances. Vasilevskiy made a couple of key saves. They didn’t have a lot tonight, I thought we were pretty good defensively as well.”The Islanders tied it late in the second. Off a scramble for the puck in front of Vasilveskiy, Lightning defenseman Eric Cernak attempted to push the puck into the goalie. Clutterbuk and several players whacked at the puck and it went through Vasilevskiy’s feet and in with 2:22 left.The Lightning regained the lead just four seconds after their power play expired in the final minute of the second. Point got the rebound of a point shot by Victor Hedman and whipped it in past Varlamov as he was falling to the ice with 18 seconds remaining. It was Point’s 11th of the postseason and extended his goals streak to six games. He has eight goals in the last nine games.“I didn’t really take a look at it on the replay, but I think I just kind of got knocked down and the puck just kind of got on my stick and I slammed it into the net,” Point said. “I’m not sure how it went in. One of those lucky ones we needed tonight.”Point’s streak is the longest in the playoffs since Ottawa’s Martin Havlat also scored in six straight in 2006. Claude Lemieux (1997), Joe Sakic (1996), Mario Lemieux (1996), Pat LaFontaine (1992) and Mario Lemieux (1991) are tied for the most in the last 30 years with seven straight.The Lightning outshot the Islanders 9-7 in the first and got on the scoreboard first midway through the period. Blake Coleman’s shot from the left circle was stopped by Varlamov. Coleman got the rebound and sent a backhand pass across the front of the goal from behind the line, and Gourde knocked it in from the right side for his third of the postseason with 9:55 left.STRIKING FIRSTThe Lightning improved to 10-1 when scoring first this postseason. They are 0-3 when allowing the first goal. The Islanders dropped to 5-5 when the opponent scores first.GAME 3 FORTUNESThe Islanders have lost Game 3 at home in each of their three playoff series to fall into a 2-1 series deficit. They rebounded with three straight wins to advance past Pittsburgh in the first round and Boston in the second round,“It’s just the way it goes,” Trotz said. “We’re going to have to look forward to the next game, next opportunity, see if we can get the next game and make it best of three.”The Lightning have led 2-1 after three games in each of their series. They lost Game 3 in their first two series, against Florida and Carolina. However, those were at home after Tampa Bay won each of the first two games on the road.JETS IN THE HOUSE AGAINA group of Jets players — including beer-chugging offensive lineman Dan Feeney — were among the 12,978 in attendance. Several Jets players including rookie quarterback Zach Wilson have attended a handful of Islanders playoff games together this postseason, and head coach Robert Saleh also recently was at a game.———Follow Vin Cherwoo at http://www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP———More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Russian goalies highlight Lightning-Islanders series

Russian goalies highlight Lightning-Islanders series

NEW YORK — Semyon Varlamov is the wily veteran, coming off a season in which he set career bests in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts for the New York Islanders.Andrei Vasilevskiy is the league’s wins leader over the past four years for the Tampa Bay Lightning, coming off a Stanley Cup championship season and vying for his second Vezina Trophy in three years.The two countrymen were teammates, too, a long way from the NHL playoffs.“He’s been the best goalie in the NHL last couple of years,” Varlamov said of his counterpart. “He’s outstanding.”The two were on Russia’s World Cup of Hockey squad in 2016, playing behind starter Sergei Bobrovsky. Last September, they squared off when the Islanders and Lightning met in the Eastern Conference finals, which Tampa Bay won in six games on the way to earning its first Stanley Cup.The Russian netminders are part of a renaissance of sorts, one that was featured in last year’s postseason. This year, the showdown could be the deciding factor in the teams’ Stanley Cup semifinal series, which is tied 1-1 heading into Game 3 on Thursday night.“I like this kid, but now we play against each other,” the 33-year-old Varlamov said. “He’s a very big goalie, very athletic, and won a Cup last year, won the Vezina Trophy. I can say a lot of great things about him.”The 26-year-old Vasilevskiy has been the unquestioned starter for the Lightning since they traded Ben Bishop at the deadline in February 2017. Vasilevskiy has responded by totaling a league-best 149 wins over the past four seasons. He also holds franchise records for career wins (190), shutouts (26), games (302), and single-season marks for victories (44) and shutouts (eight).Vasilevskiy, finishing the first year of an eight-year, $76 million extension, went 31-10-1 this season with a career-low 2.21 GAA and .925 save percentage.“He’s super-competitive and he doesn’t like to lose,” Tampa Bay forward Nikita Kucherov said. “He’s been unreal.”Varlamov has been part of a tandem in New York the last two years after signing with the Islanders for four years, $20 million as a free agent. He split time with Thomas Greiss last season, starting 39 of the team’s 67 games and 19 of 22 in the playoff run. In 2021, he was paired with 25-year-old rookie Ilya Sorokin, a fellow Russian, and finished 19-11-4 with career bests of a 2.04 GAA, .929 save percentage and seven shutouts.Islanders coach Barry Trotz has credited Varlamov for being “low maintenance” and quickly shaking off a bad play or bad night.“Varly is one of those guys that (when he) has a bad game, you want to throw him in there right away because you know he’s going to come back with a really good game,” he said.Varlamov missed the opener in the first round against Pittsburgh due to an injury and Sorokin won the game. Varlamov returned for the next two games, which the Islanders lost, so Trotz turned back to Sorokin, who was unbeatable as the Islanders won three straight to advance.After Sorokin lost the opener of the second round to Boston, Trotz went back to Varlamov, citing his strong career record against the Bruins, and the Islanders advanced again.“In our minds, Varly is one of the best goalies in the league,” Islanders forward Jordan Eberle said.In this series, Varlamov has stopped 53 of 58 shots, leaving Game 2 briefly after getting run into. Sorokin stopped all six shots he faced while filling in.Vasilevskiy also has 53 saves on 57 shots, and has helped the Lightning avoid consecutive losses in the last two postseasons while they improved to 11-0 in games following a defeat.GAME 3 PIVOTIn each of their first two series, the Islanders lost Game 3 at home to fall into a 2-1 series deficit before rebounding with three straight victories to advance.“We just have to focus in on the next shift,” Trotz said. “There’s no magic formula to do that. I think we’ve approached every game the same way. We understand the importance of our home ice, our building. They’re going to come, we’ve got to respond. We lost the game last night and it’s our turn to respond.”The Lightning also lost Game 3 in each of their first two series, against Florida and Carolina. However, those were at home after Tampa Bay won each of the first two games on the road. Overall, the Lightning are 5-1 on the road in the playoffs this year.———Follow Vin Cherwoo at http://www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP———More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports