The Tampa Bay Lightning have an opportunity tonight to stamp their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals and a date with the Western Conference Champion Dallas Stars. It all boils down to their ability to continue playing their game.
Even as the Islanders have found opportunities to dictate play, the Lightning have answered and found ways to take the game back. Whether it’s a fast paced style or defensive slug-fest, the Bolts have simply been the better team.
That said, the Islanders have absolutely nothing to lose. They will try any and everything they can to stay alive in this series and push it to a game six because honestly – what other choice do they have?
New York was just on the receiving end of a 3-1 series comeback by the Philadelphia Flyers. After looking dominant in the first four games, the Flyers found a way to push back and force a game seven. The Isles are simply asking themselves why can’t they do the same to Tampa Bay? In essence, they can.
With the status of Brayden Point still uncertain, the Isles may feel they have new life should the Lightning star miss game five. There’s a good possibility he will play – Point never went back to the locker room following leaving the game on Sunday so it may be an injury he can manage and play through – and that means bad news for the Islanders. Head coach Barry Trotz has toyed with the idea of changing up the lines in order to try and generate some magic.
The “triplets 2.0” have driven this team throughout the postseason. Point, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondrej Palat have combined for 65 points in the playoffs – with only fourteen games played thus far. Keeping this line intact is pivotal for their chances at winning the Stanley Cup but not necessarily winning this series.
The Islanders have put up some epic fights throughout the series and you have to believe their best is yet to come. Otherwise, the bubble will burst for New York.
How To Watch and Listen to Game Five
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV Broadcast: NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN
Radio Broadcast: 970 WFLA
Where: Rogers Place – Edmonton, Alberta
Line: Lightning -1.5