Garrison's OT goal lifts Lightning to 2-1 win over Islanders
NEW YORK >> Jason Garrison scored 1:34 into overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday night and a 3-1 series lead.
Garrison took a pass from Andrej Sustr and fired a slap shot from the right faceoff circle past goalie Thomas Greiss to give the Lightning their second straight overtime win and move them one win away from reaching the conference finals for the second straight year.
Nikita Kucherov scored his NHL-leading eighth of the playoffs for Tampa Bay, and Ben Bishop made 27 saves.
Kucherov, who tied the score with 38.4 seconds left in regulation in Game 3 on Tuesday night, evened this one at 7:49 of the third. He took a pass from Tyler Johnson and fired a slap shot from the left faceoff dot past Greiss' blocker.
Kyle Okposo scored early in the first period for the Islanders, and Greiss stopped 20 shots.
Game 5 of this best-of-seven series is Sunday in Tampa, Florida.
There was a delay at the start of the third period to repair boards damaged by the Zamboni during the second intermission. When play resumed, 31 minutes had elapsed since the end of the second period.
The Islanders turned the puck over in their end with just over a minute left in regulation, and Alex Killorn skated in, but Greiss stopped his wrist shot.
The Islanders came out aggressive from the start and were outshooting the Lightning 9-3 over the first six minutes and finished the opening period with a 16-6 advantage while 11 others were blocked by the Lightning. The pace slowed in the second as Tampa Bay outshot New York 4-2 over the first 10 minutes and finished with a 10-7 edge.
Greiss left the game about 1 1/2 minutes into the second due to an issue with his skate. Jean-Francois Berube came on for his playoff debut and stopped both shots he faced over 4:47 before Greiss returned with 13:40 remaining in the period.
Okposo had a chance for a second goal as he was in close on Bishop but the Lightning goalie stopped his wrist shot midway through the second.
Tampa Bay had three power plays in the second, but totaled just four shots on goal.
Okposo got the Islanders on the scoreboard less than five minutes into the game. With Tampa Bay's Mike Blunden off for roughing, Okposo took a pass from Nikolay Kulemin from behind the net, settled it just to the right of the left faceoff circle and fired it past Bishop at 4:20. It was Okposo's second goal of the playoffs — first since Game 1 of the first round against Florida.
Ryan Strome thought he had doubled New York's lead at the 9:11 mark as he deflected a pass from Steve Bernier, but it was smothered by Bishop. Strome raised his stick in celebration, but the officials never signaled a goal and the call was upheld after a video review.
The Islanders had a 3-on-1 break near the midpoint of the period, but Bishop stopped Shane Prince;s wrist shot and John Tavares' follow deflected off the goalpost.
New York had a four-minute power play when Tampa Bay's Ryan Callahan was given a double-minor for multiple hits on Thomas Hickey, but the islanders got just one shot on goal and another that was wide.
NOTES: Lightning improved to 7-3 in Game 4s on the road. ... Bishop played in his 34th postseason game, passing Nikolai Khabibulin for the most by a Tampa Bay goalie. Bishop also moved one win behind Khabibulin (21) for the franchise lead. ... After going 24 for 25 on the penalty-kill in the first round against Detroit, the Lightning are 12 for 16 against the Islanders — giving up a man-advantage score in each of the four games. ... Islanders D Ryan Pulock returned after missing the last five games due to an upper body injury suffered in Game 4 of the first round against Florida. ... The Islanders scored first for just the third time in 10 games this postseason.
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