Lightning captures one of its most memorable wins

by Gary Shelton on May 4, 2016 · 2 comments

in general

Boyle scored the winning goal with 2:38 to play.

Boyle scored the winning goal with 2:38 to play.

Wednesday, 6 a.m.

There was the night Marty St. Louis forced Game Seven of the Stanley Cup with an overtime goal.

There was the game Tyler Johnson scored with one second to play.

There was Ruslan Fedotenko, who scored the winning two goals as the Lightning won the Stanley Cup.

There were all those wins from Nikolai Khabibulin, and all those goals from Brad Richards and Sean Bergenheim and Vinny Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos. There were shutouts by Bishop.

Then there was this one. This one, which left its heart in your throat.This one, which will rank among the biggest wins in Tampa Bay Lightning history. This one, with Nikita Kucherov and Jonathan Drouin and Brian Boyle and

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Kucherov scored with 38.6 seconds remaining.

Kucherov scored with 38.6 seconds remaining. the rest of a resilient bag of Bolts who led Tampa Bay to an unlikely 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders.

the rest of a resilient bag of Bolts who led Tampa Bay to an unlikely 5-4 win over the New York Islanders.

This one had it all. Comebacks and overtime, saves and hits, comebacks and collapses, controversy and pulled goalies that paid off in goals. It was high-wire stuff, Star Wars hockey, fireworks and floor shows. It was wild, breathtaking stuff.

Start inside of 40 seconds to play. That was when Drouin calmly found Nikita Kucherov over the middle for the game-tying goal with 38.6 seconds to play. Former Lightning coach Terry Crisp said there was only a 6 percent chance of a team scoring after it pulled its goalie, which sounds about right. But it paid off this time. Drouin, playing with gauze stuffing his nose from the hit he absorbed from Thomas Hickey, had his seventh assist of the playoff.

For Kucherov, it was yet another highlight in a playoff series he has owned. Playing without captain Steven Stamkos, Kucherov has taken over the scoring responsibilities for the Bolts, and Drouin has repeatedly found him.

For Boyle, the goal was less routine. He is a career grinder, a player who helps his team on every shift. This one was huge. If it wasn't for the controversy that ensued, he would hold onto it for a long while.

But the noise had just started. With 2:38 to play in the game, Brian Boyle took a carom off the backboard and knocked it in for the winner.

Islanders' coach Jack Capuano spent most of his post-game press conference protesting that Boyle had delivered a blow to the head of Hickey that led to his goal. “We should have been on the power play,” Capuano said.

I think everyone got their money’s worth,” Capuano said. “It’s just too bad it had to end the way it ended.”

Naturally, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper disagreed. “How many hits were there? Seventy? Eighty? There were probably 15 that were harder than the one Boyle had.”

Resilient was a big word for us. We win on a bounce, a good bounce for us,” said Boyle, 31. “It can go either way in OT like that. We still had to have some big saves from Bish. But this series is a long way from over.”

As far as hits, Drouin said the one Hickey put on him “was clean.”

Tampa Bay trailed 1-0, 3-2 and 4-3 before coming back to win.

Goaltender Ben Bishop made key stops at key times. However, he gave up four goals on 41 shots.

The teams play again on Friday night in Brooklyn.

Tampa Bay's Namestnikov tied the game at 3-3.

Tampa Bay's Namestnikov tied the game at 3-3.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Martin May 4, 2016 at 7:32 am

I left the Trop in the 7th inning, game #162 Rays vs Yankees, 2011 season. Almost as bad, I turned off the HDTV in the 3rd period Bolts down 3-4 to NYI. I should turn in my TB fan card, shouldn’t I?


Gary Shelton May 4, 2016 at 8:43 pm

I don’t know. Look at all the comebacks you’ve enable by turning away!


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