The New York Islanders have their backs against the wall following the game four loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Game 5 makes or breaks the series; everything the Islanders have in the tank needs to come out. Today’s loss was painful for Isles fans across the globe. The Islanders looked not only a step slower, but they looked like they didn’t want to win. Pucks weren’t getting to the net, and the defense was out of place. It all culminated in a downer of a loss for the Islanders. How did the Islanders lose today, though?
Tampa Bay absolutely dominated the first period. The Islanders only had six shots on the net, and one of them came after the final whistle blew. It was a lot of chipping and chasing for the Islanders. Something the Isles are ordinarily good at became a weakness in this period. Semyon Varlamov shined in this period as he always does. The highlight of this period came at the end where Cal Clutterbuck socked Yianni Gourde in the face after the period ended.
The Islanders stepped up their play a bit in this period. After killing a power-play to start the period, the Islanders finally got shots on the net. Brock Nelson would open up the scoring by roofing one glove side past Vasy. A great goal after some great forechecking. Not even 10 seconds later, Blake Coleman scores and levels it up. Not even 5 seconds later, Ondrej Palat scores to put the Lightning up by one. The Isles could not cover the slot today for some reason, and it cost them.
Tampa dominated another period, and it happened to be the most crucial one. Brayden Point would make the game 3-1 after Mat Barzal forgets to backcheck. Varlamov was great today, but it proved not to be enough. Not enough shots got on the net and too many defensive turnovers. Too many plays where a defenseman lost his guy. Half efforted performance from the Isles today.