Lightning get the “Point” and win 2-1, lead Islanders 2-1 in series

Brayden Point scored the tiebreaking goal in the waning seconds of the second period for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who edged the New York Islanders 2-1 on Thursday in Game 3 of an NHL semifinal series in Uniondale, N.Y.

The Lightning lead the best-of-seven series two games to one following their second consecutive win. Game 4 is scheduled for Saturday night in Uniondale.

Yanni Gourde also scored for the Lightning. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves, including eight in the third period, when Tampa Bay held the Islanders without a shot for the final 5:48.

Cal Clutterbuck scored for the Islanders. Goalie Semyon Varlamov recorded 23 saves.

Lightning take down Islanders in Game 3

The Islanders had a pair of solid scoring chances — Vasilevskiy gloved a slap shot by Scott Mayfield and turned back Clutterbuck at the left of the net — before the Lightning took the lead off an end-to-end rush just before the midway point of the first period.

Varlamov deflected with his stick a shot by Blake Coleman, but Coleman managed to fend off Noah Dobson before batting the puck in the air and backhanding it to Gourde, who tucked a shot into the right corner of the net at the 10:05 mark.

The team swapped flurries for most of the second before trading goals late in the period. The Lightning had nine of the first 12 shots in the second before the Islanders produced 10 unanswered shots.

The Islanders, who didn’t mount a serious threat during a power play resulting from a roughing call on Tampa Bay’s Mikhail Sergachev with 5:32 left in the second, finally tied the game following a frantic scramble with 2:59 remaining.

Matt Martin’s shot was deflected by Vasilevskiy but skittered in the crease as Clutterbuck tried stabbing at the puck while surrounded by a trio of Tampa Bay players. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak appeared to try and nudge the puck to Vasilevskiy, but it trickled under the goalie’s legs.

Brayden Point
Jun 17, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) is congratulated by center Brayden Point (21) after defeating the New York Islanders during game three of the 2021 Stanley Cup Semifinals at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Lightning get the “Point”

The Lightning scored the go-ahead goal just after a power play resulting from an interference call on Adam Pelech.

Victor Hedman’s shot was deflected by Varlamov. Point, falling as he was pushed from behind by Casey Cizikas, put back the rebound that went beneath three players — teammate Anthony Cirelli, Islanders defenseman Andy Greene and Varlamov — with 20 seconds remaining.

“The puck just took a good bounce and lands right on my stick,” Point said. “It’s a lucky one.

The Islanders had eight of the first 10 shots in the third period, when their best chances were recorded by Leo Komarov. He had point-blank shots turned back by Vasilevskiy just before and just after a timeout with under six minutes left.

“They’ve been in this position a few times, obviously, they’re Stanley Cup champions,” New York coach Barry Trotz said. “They’ve been in these situations. We tried. We have to get more pucks, we’re going to have to get inside. We had some chances, and Vasilevskiy made a couple of key saves.”

–Field Level Media