The New York Islanders will live to fight another day as they force a Game 7 of their Stanley Cup Semifinal series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Anthony Beauvillier scores the game-winning overtime goal 1:08 into the extra session as Nassau Coliseum sees another victory. Down 2-0, the Islanders came back to win the game 3-2. And that means there will be a Game 7 in Tampa Bay on Friday night. The rally was started by Jordan Eberle late in the second period. Scott Mayfield tore the roof off the building when he tied the game in the third period. Then on a turnover in overtime Beauvillier ends the game to send the crowd into a frenzy.
Anthony Beauvillier Forces Game 7
Islanders head coach Barry Trotz wanted more from his top players especially his second line. Well, Anthony Beauvillier came up with the goods in Game 6. The Killer Bs line of Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey and Beavillier had been quiet for much of the series. However, they were getting their chances in Game 6. This line took the words their head coach said to heart. And with the Islanders playoff lives on the line, this line comes off with the biggest goal of the playoffs.
The Islanders had been pressing the Lightning all game long. This time their hard work paid off. Beauvillier scouted the Lightning’s breakout very well. He intercepted a Blake Coleman pass in the slot. Andrei Vasilevskiy was not expecting the quick release from Beauvillier. It was off his stick as quickly as he got it. Anthony Beauvillier’s fifth goal of the playoffs has forced a game &
Semyon Varlamov Clamps Down
After Anthony Cirelli made it 2-0 in the second period, it became the Semyon Varlamov show. Varlamov knew he could not give up another goal or the Islanders would be heading to the golf course. With time winding down in the second period, Varlamov robbed Yanni Gourde and Steven Stamkos as the Lightning looked to increase their lead. Again Varlamov let up another early goal when Brayden Point opened the scoring. Again the Islanders seem to have no answer for him. Varlamov knew the goal he gave up against Cirelli was a bad one and had to redeem himself. From there, Varlamov shut the door on the Lightning.
With the game tied at 2-2 and the Lightning on the power play, Varlamov came up with some big saves. He stopped Point in the slot. Then he made two big saves. First, he stopped Alex Killorn as the Lightning moved the puck side to side. Then he stopped Yanni Gourde with the penalty expiring. Varlamov has been criticized all playoffs for not coming up with the goods when the Islanders needed him the most. Well in Game 6, Varlamov showed up for his team after being pulled in Game 5.
There is a reason why head coach Barry Trotz has so much faith in Varlamov. Even though Varlamov had issues against Pittsburgh in the first round, he has played every game since taking over for Ilya Sorokin in round two against Boston. Trotz believed Varlamov was going to find his game. And he found it as the playoffs went along. But none bigger than in Game 6 against the Lightning.
Scott Mayfield’s Big Night
One player that had a big night for the Islanders was Scott Mayfield. He was involved in everything against the Lightning in Game 6. It all started early in the first period when he cross-checked Kucherov in the ribs. That play knocked Kucherov out of the game. Mayfield has been playing well all playoffs, but in Game 6, he stepped up for the Islanders. Then in the second period, Mayfield again was mixing it up with a top player from the Lightning. This time it was Steven Stamkos. Mayfield again cross-checked Stamkos, though he got a penalty for it, Mayfield was making his presence known.
After the Lightning killed off another penalty, the Islanders tied the game at 2-2 on a beautiful goal from Scott Mayfield.
The play is all set up by Mathew Barzal. Barzal was moving his feet all night long especially in the second and third periods. Mayfield came off the bench and received a great pass from Barzal. Once Mayfield received the puck from Barzal, it was off the crossbar and passed Vasilevskiy to tie the game at 2-2.
Brayden Point Continues His Magic
Dating back to last postseason, Brayden Point has been a thorn in the side of the Islanders. The Islanders have been having issues stopping Point in this series as well. With his goal in Game 6, Point extended his goal streak to nine straight games in the playoffs. That is one behind Reggie Leach, who had a 10-game goal streak in the playoffs for the Philadelphia Flyers. Point opened the scoring in the first period. Again Point is showing it does not matter the size of a player. He gets into the dirty areas on the ice to score a goal. Just look at the way Point outworked Adam Pelech in front of Semyon Varlamov to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead.
Good players find a way to score goals and Point continues to do so against the Islanders. Point is playing like a player that is over six feet tall not one that 5’10”. But Point has been doing this all playoffs long for the Lightning. And it goes back to last season too. Even though Kucherov is the playoff leader in points, Point always comes up with the clutch goals for the Lightning.
With Game 7 going Friday night it will be interesting to see if Nikita Kucherov goes. Head coach Jon Cooper will not disclose this information after the game. Kucherov was hurt in the first period and did not return. Now that Anthony Beauvillier forced a Game 7 does that mean big game Brock Nelson will show up Friday night? Tune in to find out.
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