Game 3 slips away from Lightning late

by Gary Shelton on September 12, 2020

in general

Johnson tied the game in the third period./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 4 a.m.

You can blame the quick finish of the New York Islanders at the end.

You can blame the holes in the Lightning's lineup due to the suspension of Alex Killorn and the injury to Brayden Point.

According to Lightning coach Jon Cooper, the Lighting's 5-3 loss to the Islanders in the Eastern Conference final wasn't because of either of those. The defeat was because of sloppy play by the Lightning.

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Sergachev scored a goal for the Lightning./TIM WIRT

“We were our own worst enemy," Cooper said. "There were so many good things that our team did, but it’s such a tough league to win in. You can’t …we handed that one to them. zit was gift-wrapped. When you get to this stage and you'ree playing elite teams like the Islanders are, you can’t give them the extra chances.

“We hand-delivered a couple to them, and good teams will make you pay. They did tonight.”

The Lightning had a chance to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the game, but they trailed 3-1 going into the third period.

The Bolts rallied on goals by Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson, but Brock Nelson scored with 3:35 to play and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored an empty- netter for the final margin.

“I think for the majority of the game we stuck to our game plan," Johnson said. "The goals they scored were mistakes that we made. They made us pay for them. That last goal was uncharacteristic of our team. It's not what we want to do. I thought overall we played a good game. It was the little mental mistakes that beat us.”

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 33 of 37 shots but saw his six-game winning streak snapped.

Game Four is scheduled for Sunday afternoon (NBC) at 3 p.m.

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