One year after crashing out of the playoffs as heavy favorites, the Tampa Bay Lightning are just two wins away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final.
The Bolts were swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the 2019 playoffs after finishing with a league-high 128 points. That loss seems to have Tampa Bay laser-focused this postseason. The Lightning have won six-straight playoff games, including a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Lightning superstar Nikita Kucherov scored the game-winner with just nine seconds left in the third period to give the Bolts the victory. Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was sensational, making 27 saves for the win.
It had to be deflating for New York. The Islanders played much better than they did in the 8-2 blowout loss in the opener, but couldn’t find a way to hang on and get back in the series. New York needs more from leading scorer Mathew Barzal, who has only recorded one assist in the series.
It’s do-or-die for the Islanders in Game 3. Only four NHL teams have come back from 3-0 down to win a series, so New York is already in a must-win situation.
Here is how to watch today’s game:
Eastern Conference Final, Game 3: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders (TBL leads series 2-0)
Time: 5:00 p.m. PT
TV: USA Network
Do you think the Islanders will get back into the series with a win today?
Join in the discussion throughout the day in the comments below!