The defending Stanley Cup winners thrashed the Islanders 8-0 in Game 5 of their semifinal playoff series on Monday night, with Steven Stamkos scoring two goals and adding an assist, and Andrei Vasilevskiy recording his fourth career postseason shutout.
“I like to think we play determined all of the time, not just tonight,” coach Jon Cooper said after his club came within one win of a Stanley Cup Final rematch.
Since beginning their 2020 title run, the Lightning has gone 13-0 in games after a postseason loss, and they will take a 3-2 series lead over the Islanders into Game 6 of their best-of-seven series on Wednesday night in Uniondale, New York.
If required, Game 7 would be held in Florida on Friday.
“We’ll have to play our best game, and every player on our team will have to give it they’re all. We’ll be back here for Game 7 if we do that “Barry Trotz, the Islanders’ coach, stated.
“If this outcome, this performance, doesn’t motivate us, I’m not sure what would,” Trotz added. “We put ourselves in a difficult situation.”
STREAK OF POINTS
The point, who leads the league with 13 playoff goals, is only the second player in NHL history to score in at least eight consecutive playoff games in a single season. In 1976, the Philadelphia Flyers’ Reggie Leach had a 10-game goal streak.
AN EXPENSIVE PENALTY
After receiving a severe penalty for cross-checking Tampa Bay’s Jan Rutta as the second period came to a conclusion, Islanders center Mathew Barzel sat out the third period. In addition, Barzel has assessed a game misconduct penalty.
QUICK START OPTIONS
In these playoffs, the Lightning is 11-1 when they score the first goal and 0-4 when they don’t.