Jacksonville Sports Day

NHL: Lightning Drop 5-3 Decision to NY Islanders in Eastern Final

TORONTO – New York posted its first victory in the Eastern Conference Final, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 in Game 3 from Edmonton’s Rogers Place Friday night.

The Lightning still lead the best-of-seven series by a 2-1 count over the Islanders.

New York scored the game’s opening goal, Cal Clutterbuck finishing off a sequence of heavy pressure on the Lightning net and shooting over Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy to put the Islanders up 1-0 at 12:58 of the first period.

The Lightning tied the game soon after, Mikhail Sergachev backhanding a shot over the glove of Semyon Varlamov from the slot to level the score 1-1 at 16:31 of the first.

The Islanders scored twice in the second period to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.

Isles defenseman Adam Pelech beat Vasilevskiy to the far post from the left circle to put New York back in front 2-1 at 11:50 of the middle frame. The Islanders pushed their advantage to 3-1 at 13:50 of the second after Anthony Beauvillier found the back of the net for his ninth goal this postseason.

Tampa Bay got a goal back after Ondrej Palat redirected Nikita Kucherov’s pass past Varlamov.

The Lightning tied the game 3-3 with 7:56 remaining in regulation, Tyler Johnson tipping Erik Cernak’s shot from the point past Varlamov to get the Bolts back on even terms.

The Islanders went back in the lead for good with 3:25 to go, Brock Nelson scoring from the lower right circle and beating Vasilevskiy to the far post for the game-winning goal.

New York added an empty-net goal with 36 seconds remaining for the 5-3 final, Jean-Gabriel Pageau scoring to add an insurance tally.

Vasilevskiy stopped 31-of-35 shots in the loss, ending his six-game win streak.

Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final between Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders will take place Sunday from Edmonton’s Rogers Place (3 p.m. puck drop).

NOTES: Tampa Bay saw its six-game playoff win streak come to an end…Sergachev scored his second goal of the 2020 Playoffs and first of the Eastern Conference Final (Sergachev also scored in Game 3 of the Second Round vs. Boston)…Palat’s power-play goal was his 53rd career playoff point, Palat passing Vincent Lecavalier and tying Steven Stamkos for fifth place among Tampa Bay’s all-time playoff scoring leaders….Tampa Bay outshot New York 37-36. Blake Coleman, Anthony Cirelli, Nikita Kucherov and Mikhail Sergachev each had four shots to pace the Lightning.

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