Games 1 and 2 Islanders at Tampa



The first infraction of the series goes the Isle’s Nyquist and 10 seconds later Bolts sniper Patrick Sharp bangs home a rebound for the game’s first goal. Pretty evenly played period with the Bolts failing to cash in on a 2nd powerplay and the score remains 1-0 TB after one.
Bolts come out flying to start the 2nd period with Toews lighting the lamp at 0:29 followed less than 2 minutes later by Chara for “the dreaded 3 goal lead”! After that initial deluge the quality chances advantage continued for the home team the rest of the period by Stalock kept it at 3-0 heading to the 3rd.
Fast start to the final period from the visitors but it’s Ladd at 5:04 ups the lead to 4-0 and the rout is on right? Not so fast……the Isle continue to carry the play, although not creating many quality scoring opportunities, and are rewarded for their hard work just over 8 minutes into the period when Cammalleri beats Fleury to get the Isle on the board. Matt Carle then hauls down an Isle player and Alex Steen wastes little time on the ensuing powerplay cutting the Bolts lead to 4-2 with 1/2 the period remaining! Isle maintain the shot advantage, but again not many of the high quality variety, and they can’t complete the comeback……….4-2 Game 1 victory for the Bolts.
Shots end up 36-36 but the difference was in the goalie ratings where the Bolts generated 11 on Stalock (9 saved) while the Isle mustered only 5 on Fleury (4 saved).

Much better start for the Isle and it pays dividends early with Fisher lighting the lamp at 4:29. More back-n-forth between the 2 teams until Kopitar sneaks one past Stalock at 13:04 to tie the score. Bolts kill off a powerplay late in the period and then seconds later get the lead on a goal by Toews.
With Troy Brouwer in the sin bin early in the 2nd Bergeron makes the Bolts pay with a powerplay tally to tie the score at 2-2 only 25 into the contest and this has the makings of a shootout! Quality chances a plenty for both sides but the goaltenders are both coming up with huge stop after huge stop keeping the game deadlocked at 2-2 after regulation……to OT we go!!
Less than a minute into the OT, the Isle Okposo is sent to the box and the 7 Isle fans in the stands are heard screaming “keep the whistle in your pocket ref, it’s playoff OT!!” After a Byfuglien bad pass attempt (shoot the puck big man!!) Steen fails to clear and Kopitar is sent in alone…..denied by Stalock! Isle kill off the rest of the penalty time and we play on! Faceoff in the Isle zone won by the Bolts back to Hjalmarson, threads the needle to Ladd who shoots…..GR….denied! Isle come back the other way and it’s Fisher to Steen…….GR………SCORE! Game over! The Isle take Game 2 in thrilling fashion 3-2 in overtime to bring the series to Long Island tied at a game apiece!

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