Many (including myself) thought the Lightning were going to close out this series last night. But the Islanders would not give up in a game that appeared to be very defensive and cautious in both end. In fact, the shot totals showed just how neutral-zoned this game was – 37-24 in favor of Tampa Bay and that included 4 and just over a half period of hockey with the over time periods.
Ryan Pulock got the Islanders up 1-0 at 15:41 of the 1st period on the power play. Tampa Bay would tie things up in the 2nd period on a goal by Viktor Hedman at 4:00 of the middle frame. The Bolts would then take the lead – or so they thought they did – at 9:59 of the 2nd. However, after a well-taken Coach’s Challenge, it was determined the play was offside; goal waived off. That would be it going through a scoreless 3rd period and 1OT. However, Mr. OT himself, Jordan Eberle capped off the huge must-win for the Islanders at 12:30 of the 2OT. With the win, the Islanders gave themselves some life making it a 3-2 series with Game 6 scheduled Thursday night at 8pm ET.
Highlights of the Night
Of course, none other than the OT winner by Jordan Eberle… followed by an epic celebration by Varlamov after the win!
Eric Staal to Buffalo
In an expected trade today, the Minnesota Wild traded Eric Staal to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Marcus Johansson.