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Lightning Steal OT Win to take 2-1 Series Lead over Islanders

Tha Sports Junkies 101-Sports News Sarah A./via flickr.com

Tampa Ties it Late, Score Early in Extra Period to get 5-4 Win

NHL

BROOKLYN-After losing Game 1 at home, the Tampa Bay Lightning knew they couldn’t afford to drop Game 2 before heading up to New York. They didn’t and tied the series at 1-1. In Game 3, they were looking to take back home ice. They did just that.

Brian Boyle scored 2:48 into overtime to help the Lightning finish off their rally to get a 5-4 win over the New York Islanders Tuesday night at the Barclays Center to grab a 2-1 series lead.

Seeing their team play in the second round for the first time in 23 years, Islander fans brought the energy at the start of the game. New York seemed to feed off it and would grab a 1-0 lead when Josh Bailey scored his first of the playoffs 7:55 into the first to get his first goal in 22 games. Bailey had missed the first two games of the series with an upper-body.

It looked like the Islanders would head into the first intermission with the lead, but Ryan Callahan said no when he deflected Alex Killorn‘s shot on the power-play to tie the game at the 19:47 mark for his first goal of the postseason.

Tampa would then grab the lead 8:10 into the second period when Victor Hedman wired a shot past New York goalie Thomas Greiss to give the visitors a 2-1 advantage. It was Hedman’s second of the playoffs.

The Islanders, though, would respond with a goal from one of their own blueliners. Nick Leddy tied the game with 5:10 left in the middle frame with his first goal this playoff year to set up a frantic third period.

Bailey would give the home team the lead once again 2:27 into the third with a power-play goal to get his second of the game. The Lightning, however, would need a lot of time to respond as Vladislav Namestnikov got things even once again just 58 seconds later with his first goal of the postseason.

With 8:37 left in the game, New York and their fans probably thought they had gotten the game-winning goal when bruising forward Cal Clutterbuck got a loose puck in the slot and fired a shot past Ben Bishop to get his second of the playoffs and give the Islanders a 4-3 lead.

Just when it seemed that New York would take a 2-1 series lead, Nikita Kucherov broke Islander hearts when he tied the game with 38.4 seconds remaining with his playoff-leading seventh goal of the postseason to send Game 3 into overtime.

If Kucherov broke Islander hearts, Boyle swept them up and dumped them in the gutter.

After decking New York defenseman Thomas Hickey with a big hit at the Islander blue line, the 6’7″ center dished the puck into the slot. It would go through to an on-coming Hedman, who fired a shot wide.

The puck would bounce off the back boards and right to Boyle, who was wide open to the left of a flailing Greiss. Boyle controlled the puck and shot over Greiss’ left pad to finish Tampa’s comeback.

The goal was Boyle’s second of the playoffs and first career playoff overtime winner.

The Lightning will look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in Game 4 on Friday night (7 PM ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVAS).

Three Stars of the Game:

1st Star: Brian Boyle, TBL

2nd Star: Victor Hedman, TBL

3rd Star: Josh Bailey, NYI