NHL Playoffs, Lightning vs. Islanders Game 3: Recap, full highlights


The Tampa Bay Lightning stole a road win from the New York Islanders with a 5-4 victory in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. 

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The Tampa Bay Lightning overcame a late third period deficit to beat the New York Islanders 5-4 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Tuesday night and take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

After a chippy end to Saturday’s Game 2, the teams got into it prior to Tuesday’s contest with a minor pregame altercation between Travis Hamonic and Brian Boyle. The Islanders took advantage of the early energy at a rocking Barclays Center, as Josh Bailey, who missed the first two games of the series with an upper-body injury, scored at the 7:55 mark of the first on a nice find from Nikolay Kulemin.

New York dominated the first period action when the game was at even strength thanks to a very active forecheck, forcing Ben Bishop to make 16 saves. However, the Lightning were able to even the game in the final seconds of the first on a Ryan Callahan goal on the Power Play.

The start of the second period brought more intensity, with huge hits from both teams all over the ice. Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin was forced to head to the locker room after a nasty hit from Thomas Hickey,  although he was able to return midway through the third, and later added a critical assist.

After Tampa Bay looked dead for the first 20 minutes, Victor Hedman rocketed a shot past Thomas Greiss at the 8:10 mark to put the Lightning up 2-1. The Islanders couldn’t get much pressure going until the 14:50 mark in the period, when New York’s fourth line set up a Nick Leddy goal with an excellent effort on the forecheck.

The open-ended play continued in the early third, as Bailey scored again at the 2:27 mark on a Lightning defensive mistake. Less than a minute later, it was Tampa Bay’s turn to set up a goal with a strong forecheck, as Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the first time this postseason.

After a brief lull in the action, New York’s fourth line came through again on Cal Clutterbuck’s second goal of the playoffs at the 11:23 mark. Tampa Bay didn’t generate much of a push over the rest of the period until Nikita Kucherov scored his seventh goal of the postseason with 39 seconds left to force the first overtime of the series.

As expected given the pace of the game, the overtime period did not last long. Brian Boyle scored at the 2:48 mark of overtime to give the Lightning the Game 3 win and 2-1 series advantage.

While the Lightning were outplayed for long stretches, they took advantage of numerous defensive mistakes to pull out the victory. Even more importantly, the team shut down Islanders star John Tavares for the second game in a row, and overcame the heroics of New York’s fourth line.

Three stars

Brian Boyle, C, Tampa Bay. Appeared to be energized by pregame scrum, as his 12th career playoff goal was the game-winner.

Josh Bailey, LW, New York. Returned from injury in fine form with two of New York’s four goals.

Victor Hedman, D, Tampa Bay. After relatively unproductive First Round, played his best hockey over the past two games, including a goal on Tuesday.

Full highlights

Next Game

The Islanders will try to the series in Game 4 at Friday night at the Barclays Center.

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