Islanders Beat Lightning To Force NHL Playoff Showdown

(@FahadShabbir)

Islanders beat Lightning to force NHL playoff showdown

New York, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th Jun, 2021 ) :Anthony Beauvillier scored 68 seconds into overtime Wednesday and the New York Islanders forced a winner-take-all showdown for Stanley Cup Final berth by defeating defending champion Tampa Bay 3-2.

The victory deadlocked the best-of-seven series 3-3 and set up a seventh game Friday at Tampa.

The winner will face either the Montreal Canadiens or the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. Montreal leads that series 3-2 and hosts game six on Thursday.

Tampa Bay center Brayden Point stretched his playoff scoring streak to nine consecutive games, one shy of the NHL record, on a chip-in backhander from just outside the crease to open the scoring with 3:58 to play in the first period.

Point moved one shy of the playoff goal streak record of 10 games set by Reggie Leach of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1976.

It was Point's 14th goal of the playoffs, matching his league-best total from last year's title run.

The 25-year-old Canadian joined NHL legends Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux as the only players with back-to-back playoff runs of 12 or more goals.

Point also matched Buffalo's Pat LaFontaine from 1992 as the only players to score in each of the first six games of a playoff series.

Tampa Bay's Anthony Cirelli, who assisted on Point's goal, gave the Lightning a 2-0 edge 12:36 into the second period on a breakaway goal, firing the puck between the legs of Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov.

New York answered 1:46 later on a backhand goal from Jordan Eberle that lifted the hosts within 2-1.

Before the Lightning could manage a shot on goal in the third period, the Islanders had netted an equalizer, Scott Mayfield scoring the unassisted goal high into the near upper corner 11:16 into the third to lift the hosts level at 2-2, setting the stage for overtime and Beauvillier's winner.

The Lightning are trying to become the first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cup titles since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016-2017 and only the second club to manage the feat since 1998.

Tampa Bay seeks a third NHL title after 2004 and last year.

The Islanders are trying to capture their first NHL crown since taking four in a row from 1980-1983.

The contest could have been the final Islanders game at the Nassau Coliseum before the club moves to a new arena next season.