Lightning vs. Islanders Stanley Cup Semifinal preview

No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 4 Original York Islanders

Lightning: 4-1 to pick Stanley Cup 2nd Round in opposition to No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes; 4-2 to pick Stanley Cup First Round in opposition to No. 2 Florida Panthers; 36-17-3, 75 points in unparalleled season (third in Study about Central Division)

Islanders: 4-2 to pick Stanley Cup 2nd Round in opposition to No. 3 Boston Bruins; 4-2 to pick Stanley Cup First Round in opposition to No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins; 32-17-7, 71 points within the unparalleled season (fourth in MassMutual East Division)

Sport 1: Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS)

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Original York Islanders will meet within the third spherical of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 2d straight season when they play within the Stanley Cup Semifinals.

The Lightning eliminated the Islanders in six video games within the Jap Conference Final final season sooner than defeating the Dallas Stars within the Stanley Cup Final. 

“We feel relish we aloof receive some unfinished alternate,” Original York ahead Josh Bailey acknowledged.

This might maybe be the first time the Islanders and Lightning will play each other this season; all groups had been tiny to taking part in in opposition to divisional opponents at some level of the unparalleled season and throughout the first two rounds of the playoffs.

“Whether we played each other final week or final month or three months ago, it would not truly topic,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper acknowledged. “We know what to quiz from them and so that they know what to quiz from us.”

Here is the fifth time in seven seasons the Lightning receive progressed previous the 2d spherical. They got right here this season by defeating the Florida Panthers in six video games and the Carolina Hurricanes in 5. Andrei Vasilevskiy had a shutout in each sequence-clinching pick. 

Tampa Bay ahead Nikita Kucherov leads the playoffs with 18 points (5 dreams, 13 assists) in 11 video games after not taking part in at eager regarding the duration of the unparalleled season attributable to hip surgical treatment on Dec. 29, 2020.

The Lightning are first on the vitality play at 41.7 percent at some level of the postseason. Kucherov has scored 13 points (four dreams, 9 assists) on the man-aid.

“He’s a assorted expertise and he can play the game assorted solutions, however he factual makes plays at excessive rates of tempo,” Cooper acknowledged. “Can you fabricate plays underneath duress and truly fabricate a vitality play hurry? Then, the gigantic X-ingredient for me is, [can you] safe gigantic dreams at gigantic moments? He looks to verify all those boxes.”

The Islanders progressed previous the 2d spherical in aid-to-aid seasons for the first time since they reached the Stanley Cup Final in 5 consecutive seasons from 1980-84. They haven’t gotten that a ways since.

Original York feels it played its most total game of each sequence in these playoffs in Sport 6. Every time became its first probability to clinch after being down 2-1.

“We receive got a community of guys which were together barely some time and we’ve added some key items,” Bailey acknowledged, “and within the event you safe into these excessive-intensity situations and guys factual withhold exhibiting up for one any other it factual builds a bond. Or not it’d be no easy task. I deem Tampa [Bay] has a huge group, the defending Cup champs. So or not it’d be difficult, however we imagine in ourselves and all americans knows we’re going to want our easiest to safe a manner to get them down.”

Video: NHL Tonight on the Lightning nice looking on previous Carolina

Sport breakers

Lightning: Brayden Point is tied for the playoff lead with eight dreams, including 5 on the vitality play. The heart has scored 12 points in 11 video games after scoring 33 points (14 dreams, 19 assists) in 23 playoff video games final season; he has scored 62 points (30 dreams, 32 assists) in 55 NHL postseason video games. Cooper has called Point indubitably one of those avid gamers who can “finish gigantic things in gigantic moments and the moment isn’t too gigantic for him.” He’s a game-breaker because his tempo suits his skill. He breaks down opposing forechecks and routinely features a step on defenseman to generate breakaways or weird-man rushes. 

Islanders: Mathew Barzal had a four-game level dart and three-game purpose dart finish in a series-ending 6-2 pick in opposition to the Bruins on Wednesday. The heart scored six points (three dreams, three assists) in Video games 2-5, including the game-winning purpose in Sport 4, a 4-1 pick that allowed Original York to even the sequence. There are occasions when Barzal gets tiny minutes, as he did in Sport 6 in opposition to the Bruins, taking part in 17 shifts totaling 10: 58. He can hurry at times, as he did going without a purpose within the first eight playoff video games. Nonetheless when he breaks out, he is Original York’s most unhealthy ahead and continually the first player the opposition thinks about shutting down.


Lightning: Vasilevskiy had a 29-save shutout in a 2-0 sequence-ending pick in Sport 5 in opposition to the Hurricanes. He has a shutout in his previous three sequence-clinching wins, including 2-0 in opposition to the Stars in Sport 6 of the Stanley Cup Final final season. Vasilevskiy is 8-3 with a 2.24 dreams-in opposition to sensible and .934 save percentage, allowing two dreams or fewer in six of his 11 starts. He became 31-10-1 with a 2.21 GAA, .925 save percentage and 5 shutouts at some level of the unparalleled season. Vasilevskiy received the Vezina Trophy voted as the head goalie within the NHL in 2018-19.

Islanders: Original York has outdated school Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin at some level of the playoffs. Varlamov became the goalie who helped it safe rid of Boston, winnng four of the final 5 video games with a 2.26 GAA and .934 save percentage (12 dreams on 181 photos). Sorokin became arguably the most involving cause the Islanders eliminated the Penguins. He made 39 saves in a 4-3 time previous law pick in Sport 1 sooner than Varlamov misplaced Video games 2 and 3. Sorokin received Video games 4-6 with a 1.79 GAA and .949 save percentage (six dreams on 117 photos). Original York is blissful with both goalie and might maybe maybe merely aloof exhaust each within the sequence.

Video: [email protected], Gm2: Varlamov thwarts Krejci at your step

Numbers to grab

Lightning: They’re 41.7 percent on the vitality play (15-for-36) after going 7-for-16 in opposition to the Hurricanes, including 6-for-11 within the final three video games. … They had been 85.7 percent (12-for-14) on the penalty raze in opposition to Carolina, which had the No. 2 vitality play within the unparalleled season (25.6 percent). … Tampa Bay is 8-1 in video games when it has the lead going into the third period at some level of the playoffs after going 26-0-0 within the unparalleled season and 10-0 within the playoffs final season. The Lightning receive a plus-8 purpose differential within the 2d period this postseason (19-11).

Islanders: They haven’t had a lead after the first period in any game this postseason however are 7-1 in video games tied going into the intermission largely because they’ve outscored the opposition 18-8 within the 2d period. … Original York has been outshot in 9 of its 12 playoff video games however is 6-3 in those video games. … The Islanders receive 25 playoff wins underneath coach Barry Trotz within the previous three seasons, third within the NHL within the aid of the Lightning and Bruins. Original York has played 42 playoff video games since 2019, 2d within the aid of Boston (48).


Lightning: Mikhail Sergachev plays the same feature as defenseman Victor Hedman, albeit with fewer minutes and in less illustrious spots. Sergachev is averaging 22: 06 per game within the playoffs, third on the Lightning; Hedman is averaging a Tampa Bay-excessive 24: 48. Sergachev plays on the steadily outdated school 2d vitality play; Hedman quarterbacks the extremely efficient first unit. Sergachev is taking part in 1: 59 per game shorthanded; Hedman is taking part in 2: 01. Sergachev, Hedman and defenseman Ryan McDonagh each receive 22 blocked photos, tied for the Tampa Bay lead. Sergachev had a Lightning-excessive 5 blocked photos in Sport 5 in opposition to Carolina. He does all the pieces successfully, relish Hedman, and presents the third protection pair similar characteristics to its high pair.

Islanders: Brock Nelson has played his easiest within the most involving video games. The heart scored two dreams and had an aid in Sport 6 in opposition to the Penguins, serving to the Islanders pick 5-3 to shut out the sequence. He scored the winning purpose in Sport 5 in opposition to Boston, a 5-4 victory that gave Original York the sequence lead. In Sport 6, Nelson scored two dreams 7: 19 apart within the 2d period to give the Islanders a 3-1 lead. They received 6-2 to total the sequence. He has scored 10 points (six dreams, four assists) in 12 video games after scoring 18 points (9 dreams, 9 assists), including three game-winning dreams in 22 postseason video games final season. He’s averaging 0.83 points per game in these playoffs, up from 0.59 points per game at some level of the unparalleled season.

Video: [email protected]: Sergachev scores in 3rd period

They acknowledged it

“Within the playoffs or not it’s clearly a assorted season and it have to be a assorted effort. I deem final year and this year to this level we’ve been doing that comely fixed. We will receive to withhold up the same manner. It takes everybody to pick a playoff game. It mustn’t be factual one or two guys on the group. The total guys they’ve to play, they’ve to give the most efficient effort each evening.” — Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy

“We are able to safe a shot to hurry in opposition to the champs all over again. I factual watched them shut out Carolina, that’s a correct hockey group factual now and a truly unhealthy vitality play, clearly. They’re hitting about 50 percent, it looks relish. And in addition to they receive celeb vitality, factual relish Boston does. They’ve got a few traces that might maybe danger you and their Vezina-form goaltender. Their protection is extremely deep and their forwards are extremely deep. This might maybe be a huge design for us, however we’ll attempt to dissect it and scrutinize what we are able to total.” — Islanders coach Barry Trotz

Will pick if…

Lightning: Or not it’s onerous to belief them losing if their vitality play continues to be successful at a shut to 42 percent clip. Tampa Bay is declare material taking part in it even at 5-on-5 if its vitality play remains to be this efficient. It had a trusty penalty raze in opposition to Carolina too, which made its success on the vitality play topic even extra. The Lightning decide to withhold getting contributions from all four ahead traces, as they’ve within the first two rounds. And in addition to they will decide to surrender healthy; they’ve misplaced eight man-video games to damage within the playoffs however enter the Cup Semifinals at corpulent strength.

Islanders: In addition to to elegant goaltending and trusty depth, Original York have to stay the least penalized group within the NHL to receive a probability. The Islanders’ penalty raze has struggled to this level at 61.5 percent (16-for-26). Nonetheless final disciplined presents them a probability to manufacture this a 5-on-5 sequence and potentially presents their vitality play a probability to be disagreement-maker. Original York has been shorthanded 38: 38 total within the postseason, an sensible of 3: 13 per game, the lowest among playoff groups. Its vitality play is 28.1 percent (9-for-32).

How they scrutinize

Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat — Brayden Point — Nikita Kucherov

Alex KillornAnthony CirelliSteven Stamkos

Yanni GourdeBarclay GoodrowBlake Coleman

Ross ColtonTyler JohnsonPat Maroon

Victor Hedman — Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh — Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev — David Savard

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Alex Barre-Boulet, Mitchell Stephens, Daniel Walcott, Fredrik Claesson, Cal Foote, Mathieu Joseph, Luke Schenn, Ben Thomas, Christopher Gibson

Injured: None

Islanders projected lineup

Leo Komarov — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle

Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey

Kyle PalmieriJean-Gabriel PageauTravis Zajac

Matt MartinCasey CizikasCal Clutterbuck

Adam PelechRyan Pulock

Reduce LeddyScott Mayfield

Andy GreeneNoah Dobson

Semyon Varlamov

Ilya Sorokin

Scratched: Cole Bardreau, Kieffer Bellows, Austin Czarnik, Anatoli Golyshev, Simon Holmstrom, Ross Johnston, Otto Koivula, Dmytro Timashov, Sebastian Aho, Samuel Bolduc, Braydon Coburn, Thomas Hickey, Grant Hutton, Bode Wilde, Ken Appleby, Cory Schneider

Injured: Michael Dal Colle (undisclosed), Oliver Wahlstrom (decrease physique)

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