Lightning takes 3-1 series lead on Islanders

by Gary Shelton on May 7, 2016 · 0 comments

in general

Garrison knocked in the winning goal in overtime.

Garrison knocked in the winning goal in overtime.

Saturday, 5:45 a.m.

So what does New York Islanders' coach Jack Capuano complain about this time?

Another hit? Maybe Jason Garrison's this time. Another blown lead? Another overtime loss? A second straight home loss.

All of it?

The Lightning took a 3-1 series lead Friday night, beating the New York Islanders 2-1. Last time, the heroes were Nikita Kucherov in the third period (with 38 seconds to play) and Brian Boyle in overtime.
This time, it was Kucherov in the third period and Jason Garrison in overtime.

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Bishop was in control against New York again./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Bishop was in control against New York again./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Kucherov now has eight goals in nine games, good enough for the lead in the NHL playoffs.

Kucherov is a man playing like these playoffs are his, and everyone else is just renting ice time. He not only has eight goals, he has them at key moments.

“He's proving he's not a one-hit wonder,” Cooper said. “He continues to amaze.”

Garrison's heavy shot won the game 94 seconds into overtime.  It was low and hard and long-distance, but Islander goalie Thomas Greiss was screened b his own player.

“He's got a bomb,” Cooper said.

Kucherov has owned these playoffs.

Kucherov has owned these playoffs.

The victory leaves the Bolts with three shots to win one game to advance to their second straight Eastern Conference championshap against Pittsburgh or Washington. Pittsburg leads 3-1.

"There's no real panic button anymore," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "You don't know whether it's the first period or the third period on our bench. Everybody, it's just positive. … It has been a lot of fun being around this group."

Goaltender Ben Bishop stopped 27 of 28 shots, including a flurry in the first period. The Bolts slow starts have concerned  Cooper.

“We could start at 7 instead of 8,” Cooper said.

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