Game 7 Playoff Preview: New York Islanders vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning: Media Notes

 

LAST GAME

Lightning 2 at NY Islanders 3 OT

New York took Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinal against Tampa Bay 3-2 in overtime to extend the series and force a Game 7 in Tampa on Friday…The Islanders’ Anthony Beauvillier scored 1:08 into overtime for the game-winning goal…The best-of-seven series is now tied 3-3 with a winnertake-all Game 7 upcoming…Tampa Bay lost for just the second time this season when entering the third period with a lead (also lost Game 3 of First Rd.

  1. Florida; entered 3rd with 5-3 lead, lost 6-5 in OT); The Bolts were 37-1 coming into Game 6 when leading after two periods (regular season and playoffs)…The Lightning-Islanders Semifinal needed overtime to produce a winner for the first time in the series…For the second-straight year, Tampa

Bay and New York went to overtime in Game 6 with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line for the Lightning and elimination at stake for the Islanders…Brayden Point backhanded a shot into the net at 16:02 of the first to put the Bolts in front 1-0 and extend his goal streak to nine games, one game from matching the NHL playoff record…The Lightning extended their lead to 2-0 after Anthony Cirelli slipped a shot five-hole through Semyon Varlamov…The Islanders tied the game with goals from Jordan Eberle (2nd – 14:22) and Scott Mayfield (3rd – 11:16)…Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 25-of-28 shots in defeat…Nikita Kucherov did not play a majority of the game after taking a cross-check in the opening minutes and leaving the ice moments later without returning.

PP: TBL – 0-2 NYI – 0-3

SOG: TBL – 24 NYI – 28

Attendance: 12,978

 

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP

The Lightning are hosting the Islanders in Game 7, the ninth Game 7 for Tampa Bay (5-3) and 10th for New York (4-5)…Tampa Bay owns a 3-1 record in home Game 7s…The Lightning were defeated in their last Game 7, which was also their only loss in a Game 7 at home, falling 4-0 to Washington in Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Final May 23, 2018…Ryan McDonagh has played in eight career Game 7s (1 with TBL, 7 with NYR), the most on the Lightning, and owns a 6-2 record in Game 7s…Lightning head coach Jon Cooper is 2-2 all-time in Game 7s…This will be the sixth time that Tampa Bay contests a Game 7 in the final-four round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs (2-3); only three other clubs – all Original Six teams – have played as many such contests: Boston (8 GP; 4-4), Detroit (6 GP; 5-1) and Chicago (6 GP; 3-3)…By the end of this round, the Lightning will have contested more Game 7s in the Conference Finals/Semifinals than seven active franchises have played in their history.

 

TONIGHT’S STORYLINES

Tampa Bay is 5-0 this postseason in games following a loss, 12-0 over the past two playoffs and 13-0 when including its victory to open the 2020 Playoffs coming off a Game 4 loss in the 2019 First Round at Columbus, that 13-game run the longest in NHL history…The Lightning have yet to lose a home game this postseason that wasn’t the home opener of a series (0-3 in series home openers, 5-0 in all other home contests)…Tampa Bay scored the opening goal in Game 6 for the 13th time in 17 postseason contests during its 2021 Playoffs run but fell to 11-2 when scoring first, including 3-1 in the Semifinal Round (Bolts are 0-4 when giving up the first goal)

 

INJURIES

2020-21 Reg. Season Man Games Lost: 154

2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs Man Games Lost: 10

Current injuries

Erik Cernak (Upper-body injury; day-to-day) 2 Games

 

POINTING THE WAY

Tampa Bay center Brayden Point scored the opening goal of Game 6 at NYI to extend his franchise record goal streak to nine games, one game from matching the NHL playoff record of 10-straight games with a goal set by Philadelphia’s Reggie Leach in 1976…Point has netted a goal in 11 of the last 12 games…Point continues to lead the NHL for goals this postseason and is attempting to become the first player to lead the NHL playoffs for goals in two-straight seasons since Jari Kurri in 1987 and 1988 (Point had a NHL-best 14 goals in 2020)

 

TONY THE TIGER

Lightning center Anthony Cirelli scored a goal and added an assist for his second multi-point game of these playoffs (also: 1-1–2 pts. Game 4 of 1st Rd. vs. FLA) and third of his postseason career…Cirelli scored his first goal of the Semifinal Rd. and fourth of this postseason…Cirelli has posted assists in back-to-back games…Cirelli netted his 10th career playoff goal to become the 14th different player all-time to score 10 career goals in the postseason with the Lightning.

 

THE BIG CAT

Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 25-of-28 shots in a Game 6 loss to drop to 11-6 in the 2021 Playoffs…Vasilevskiy has posted a shutout in each of Tampa Bay’s clinching games this postseason (29 saves in Game 6 of 1st Rd. vs. FLA and 29 saves in Game 5 of 2nd Rd. at CAR) and has clinched each of the last three playoff series for the Lightning via shutout going back to a 22-save effort in Game 6 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final vs. DAL…Vasilevskiy is searching for his first career Game 7 victory (0-2 previously – made 37-of-39 saves in 2-1 loss at PIT in 2016 ECF and 19- of-22 saves in 4-0 loss vs. WSH in 2018 ECF)…Vasilevskiy is 12-0 in games following a loss over the last two postseasons (in the same postseason and including Round Robin qualifiers), allowing a combined 19 goals in those 12 wins (333 saves on 352 shots) and posting three shutouts.

 

New York Islanders: Media Notes

 

LAST TIME OUT:

Semifinals, Game #6 – NYI 3 vs. TBL 2 (OT)

RECAP: Anthony Beauvillier scored the game-winner 1:08 into overtime, as the New York Islanders defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2

Wednesday night at Nassau Coliseum. Scott Mayfield scored the game-tying goal in the third period to force overtime, as the Islanders tied the semifinal round series 3-3. Mathew Barzal recorded two points and Semyon Varlamov made 22 saves to help the Islanders stave off elimination and force Game 7.

NYI PP: 0/3

NYI PK: 2/2

 

2021 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SECOND ROUND RECAP: NYI beat BOS 4-2

The New York Islanders won three consecutive games to advance to the Semifinals for the second straight season. They outscored Boston 22-17 in the series. Mathew Barzal (3g, 3a), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (2g, 4a) and Kyle Palmieri (4g, 2a) co-led the Islanders with six points each. Scott Mayfield and Pageau both posted plus-6 ratings against Boston, the most among any NHL skater against Boston this postseason. Semyon Varlamov went 4-1 and posted a 2.26 GAA and .934 sv%.

 

2021 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS FIRST ROUND RECAP: NYI beat PIT 4-2

The New York Islanders won three consecutive games, including two at home, to advance to the Second Round for the third straight season. Anthony Beauvillier (3g, 4a) and Jean-Gabriel Pageau (1g, 6a) led the Islanders with seven points each and four players shared the team-lead for goals (Bailey , Beauvillier, Nelson &Palmieri, 3). Ilya Sorokin went 4-0 and posted a .943 sv% and 1.95 GAA.

 

PLAYOFF GAMES LOST: 31

 

TEAM PLAYOFF NOTES:

– The Islanders are 28-20 in playoff games under Head Coach Barry Trotz with six series wins. Their 28 wins rank second in the league in that span. They have played 48 playoff games under Trotz, tying Boston for most in that span.

GAME 7’s: Tonight is the second time the Islanders will play a Game 7 in the semifinal round in franchise history (1975 vs. PHI). It is the 10th Game 7 in Islanders history and the ninth that will be played on the road. The Islanders are 4-5 all-time in Game 7s, including 4-4 on the road. Head Coach Barry Trotz is 3-2 in Game 7’s. The league’s last semifinal round Game 7 was in 2018, when Trotz led Washington to a win and trip to the Finals.

ONE: The Islanders are one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1984. They can become the first team to dethrone a defending Stanley Cup Champion in Game 7 of a Semifinal Round series since 2014 (LAK vs. CHI).

 

GAME 1 Amalie Arena NYI 2 at TBL 1 NBC

GAME 2 Amalie Arena TBL 4 vs. NYI 2 NBCSN

GAME 3 Nassau Coliseum TBL 2 at NYI 1 USA

GAME 4 Nassau Coliseum NYI 3 vs. TBL 2 USA

GAME 5 Amalie Arena TBL 8 vs. NYI 0 NBCSN

GAME 6 Nassau Coliseum NYI 3 vs. TBL 2 (OT) NBCSN

GAME 7 Amalie Arena Friday, June 25, 8 pm NBCSN

 

FIVE: The Islanders are just five wins shy of the Stanley Cup, the closest they’ve been since 1984.

 

  1. TBL: The Islanders play Tampa Bay in the semi-finals for the second straight season. This is the fourth playoff meeting between the two teams. It is only the second time in the last 20 years that two teams have met in consecutive years in the final four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs (CHI &LAK, 2013-14).

 

HC BARRY TROTZ: Head Coach Barry Trotz is 83-78 in career postseason play, and is the 12th head coach in NHL history to post 80+ postseason wins. He trails only Quenneville (121) and Sutter (89) for the most among active coaches.

 

OT: The Islanders are 40-22 all-time in overtime playoff games and hold a league-best .645 winning percentage. Their four overtime wins this postseason are tied for second-most in a playoff year in franchise history (1982 &1993).

 

HITS: The Islanders lead the league with 730 hits. Six Islanders rank in the top 14 in the NHL in hits this postseason (Clutterbuck 88, Martin 87, Pulock 69, Komarov 66, Pageau 61, Pelech 56, Cizikas 55). Clutterbuck & Martin rank first and second among all skaters and Pulock leads all NHL defensemen.

 

GF: The Islanders rank second in the league in goals scored this postseason (54) and are tied for third in GF/GP (3.00). They have scored 40 5-on5 goals, good for second-most in the league. They have outscored their opponents 40-37 in 5-on-5 play.

 

FOUR: The Islanders are the first NHL team since 1987 (MTL) to have one goaltender record all four wins in one series and another goaltender record all four in the next. They are the third team in NHL history to have two different goaltenders post win streaks of 4+ games in the same playoff year (BOS 1972 &PHI 1980).