Point's playoff-leading 11th goal pushes Lightning past Islanders for series lead

Brayden Point kept up his scoring touch with a tiebreaking goal late in the second period, Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 shots and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Islanders 2-1 on Thursday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup semifinals.

Tampa Bay improves post-season road record to 6-1

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point scores during a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday. (Elsa/Getty Images)

After keeping up his scoring touch to help Tampa Bay get a big road victory its Stanley Cup semifinal series, Brayden Point was especially proud of the Lightning's defensive effort.

Point got the tiebreaking goal late in the second period, Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 shots and the Lightning beat the New York Islanders 2-1 on Thursday night to take a 2-1 series lead.

The Islanders outshot the Lightning 8-5 in a tight third period, but couldn't tie it. They pulled goalie Semyon Varlamov for an extra skater with about 1:48 remaining but couldn't manage a shot on goal."

"They had some control late, something to look at," Point said "We still had guys sacrificing, blocking shots and all that good stuff. We'll take the win for sure."

Yanni Gourde also scored to help Tampa Bay improve to 6-1 on the road in the playoffs.

"We kept the game really simple," Gourde said. "We managed the game for most part of the game and that was the key, especially in the third period. We closed the ice pretty well and we got the puck deep whenever we got the chance. I think that was very important for us."

WATCH | Point scores Game 3 winner as Lightning edge Islanders:

Point's winner gives Lightning series lead over Islanders

3 months ago
Tampa Bay edges New York 2-1 in Game 3. Forward Brayden Point becomes the first Lightning player to score in six straight playoff games. 1:50

Cal Clutterbuck scored for the Islanders, and Varlamov finished with 23 saves.

Game 4 is Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum, with Game 5 back in Tampa on Monday night.

"Tampa's good all around," the Islanders' Matt Martin said. "They're the defending Stanley Cup champions and they know what it takes to win. ... They know what they have to do in their D zone."

Both teams had chances in a fast-paced second period. The Islanders had some sustained pressure in the offensive zone midway through, but couldn't beat Vasilevskiy. The goalie denied a shot by Adam Pelech with 6 minutes to go and Mathew Barzal hit a goalpost seconds later. Vasilevskiy then denied Barzal's tip try.

"We have to get more pucks, we have to get inside," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "We had some chances. Vasilevskiy made a couple of key saves. They didn't have a lot tonight, I thought we were pretty good defensively as well."

WATCH | Goaltenders at forefront of NHL playoff picture:

Goalies are the front-runners for the Conn Smythe trophy

3 months ago
Playoffs are proving what most hockey fans already know, you need solid goaltending to win a Stanley Cup. 3:46

The Islanders tied it late in the second. Off a scramble for the puck in front of Vasilevskiy, Lightning defenceman Eric Cernak attempted to push the puck into the goalie. Clutterbuk and several players whacked at the puck and it went through Vasilevskiy's feet and in with 2:22 left.

The Lightning regained the lead just four seconds after their power play expired in the final minute of the second. Point got the rebound of a point shot by Victor Hedman and whipped it in past Varlamov as he was falling to the ice with 18 seconds remaining. It was Point's 11th of the postseason and extended his goals streak to six games. He has eight goals in the last nine games.

"I didn't really take a look at it on the replay, but I think I just kind of got knocked down and the puck just kind of got on my stick and I slammed it into the net," Point said. "I'm not sure how it went in. One of those lucky ones we needed tonight."

Point's streak is the longest in the playoffs since Ottawa's Martin Havlat also scored in six straight in 2006. Claude Lemieux (1997), Joe Sakic (1996), Mario Lemieux (1996), Pat LaFontaine (1992) and Mario Lemieux (1991) are tied for the most in the last 30 years with seven straight.

The Lightning outshot the Islanders 9-7 in the first and got on the scoreboard first midway through the period. Blake Coleman's shot from the left circle was stopped by Varlamov. Coleman got the rebound and sent a backhand pass across the front of the goal from behind the line, and Gourde knocked it in from the right side for his third of the postseason with 9:55 left.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?