There was no panic within the Tampa Bay Lightning — simply one other decided efficiency towards the New York Islanders.
Steven Stamkos had two targets and help and Andrei Vasilevskiy notched his fourth professional playoff shutout, serving to the defending Stanley Cup champions rout the Islanders 8-Zero in Recreation 5 of their semifinal playoff collection on Monday night time.
“I wish to assume we play decided on a regular basis, not simply tonight,” coach Jon Cooper mentioned after his staff moved inside one victory of a return to the Stanley Cup Remaining.
“It’s definitely a response and a mindset and it begins with our goalie,” Stamkos mentioned.
“Vasy simply has a tremendous skill to bounce again whether or not he performs nice or he doesn’t play nice. However, after we lose, he takes that personally,” the Lightning captain added. “He was excellent, made some massive saves early, settles us down, we get some targets and get some confidence.”
The Lightning improved to 13-Zero in video games following a postseason loss since launching their 2020 title run and can take a 3-2 collection lead over the Islanders into Recreation 6 of their best-of-seven matchup Wednesday night time in Uniondale, New York.
Recreation 7, if vital, could be again in Florida on Friday.
“We’re going to should have our greatest sport, the perfect effort from each participant on our staff. And if we do this, we’ll be again right here for Recreation 7,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz mentioned.
“This end result, how we performed, if that doesn’t encourage us then I’m not too certain what’s going to,” Trotz added. “We put ourselves in a tricky bind.”
Stamkos ignited a three-goal opening interval — the primary towards the Islanders all season — by scoring simply 45 seconds into the sport. His power-play objective at 5:42 of the second started one other three-goal interval that made it 6-0.
Alex Killorn completed with two targets, Brayden Level delivered his 13th of the playoffs, and postseason scoring chief Nikita Kucherov prolonged his career-best playoff factors streak to eight video games with three assists for Tampa Bay, which hasn’t misplaced consecutive playoff video games since being swept by Columbus within the first spherical in 2019.
The level has scored an objective in eight straight video games, the second-longest stretch inside a single postseason in NHL historical past.
“It is playoff time. It is not about private stats. Wins are what matter,” mentioned Level, whose power-play objective made it 7-0.
Vasilevskiy, in the meantime, stopped all 21 photographs he confronted for his third playoff shutout this 12 months. The Vezina Trophy finalist additionally blanked Florida and Carolina in series-clinchers within the first two rounds.
Basically taking on the place the Lightning left off in a livid third-period rally that simply fell brief in a 3-2 loss in Recreation 4, Stamkos, Yanni Gourde and Killorn scored within the first 15:27 to make fast work of Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who was changed by Ilya Sorokin after yielding three targets on simply 16 photographs.
“This group has loads of delight. … I believed our response (in third interval Saturday) carried over to tonight,” Cooper mentioned. “I cherished the trouble. However ultimately, it is one win. It is a clean slate in two nights.”
The Islanders held on to win Recreation 4, the night the collection at two video games apiece, when defenseman Ryan Pulock’s diving cease within the closing seconds prevented the Lightning from forcing additional time. However, since utilizing a three-goal interval of its personal to take command Saturday night time, New York has been outscored 10-Zero over the past 4 intervals of the collection.
“A loss is a loss this time of 12 months. Whether or not it’s in double additional time or the way it was tonight,” New York ahead Kyle Palmieri mentioned.
“We’re going to get up down 3-2, heading house with our backs towards the wall,” Palmieri added. “However we have an opportunity to win a sport at the house and that’s all we’re centered on now.”
Tampa Bay’s glowing document in video games following a playoff loss comes on the heels of being swept by Columbus within the first spherical two years in the past. It’s the longest such streak in NHL historical past, and Vasilevskiy has been the goaltender in every one of the victories. Kucherov has a team-leading 26 factors (5 targets, 21 assists) within the 13 video games.
Level, who leads the league with 13 targets this postseason, is the second participant in NHL historical past to attain an objective is at the least eight consecutive playoff video games in a single 12 months. Reggie Leach had a 10-game objective streak for the Philadelphia Flyers in 1976.
Islanders middle Mathew Barzel sat out the third interval after drawing a significant penalty for cross-checking Tampa Bay’s Jan Rutta because the second interval got here to an in-depth. Barzel additionally drew a sports misconduct penalty.