Call it the Brock Nelson revenge game.
On Wednesday night the New York Islanders’ forward was on the receiving end of two nasty hits that briefly knocked him out of Game 2, one of which resulted in the suspension of Alex Killorn.
He came back from all of that in Game 3 on Friday night and scored the game-winning goal with less than four minutes to play in regulation to help lift the New York Islanders to a crucial 5-3 win.
They now trail the Eastern Conference Final series by a 2-1 margin and were able to avoid falling into what could have been a three-game hole.
Nelson’s goal came just a few minutes after Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson had tied the game, erasing what had been a 3-1 Islanders lead to open the third period.
At that point Tampa Bay seemed to be in full control of the third period and seemed to be pressing for a go-ahead goal. But a Ryan McDonagh turnover in the defensive zone helped set up Nelson’s goal to help the Islanders regain the lead.
You can see Nelson’s goal here.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds to put the game away.
That goal was followed by a mini-line brawl that was ignited by Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov giving Pageau an unnecessary slash to the back of the leg as he closed in on the empty net.
The Islanders also received a strong 34-save effort from Semyon Varlamov in net. Even though the Lightning were playing without Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point (injured in Game 2) and Killorn they still managed to generate a ton of chances and put pressure on Varlamov and the Islanders.
No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 6 New York Islanders (TB leads 2-1)
Game 1: Lightning 8, Islanders 2. (recap)
Game 2: Lightning 2, Islanders 1 (recap)
Game 3: Islanders 5, Lightning 3
Game 4: Sunday, Sept. 13, 3 p.m. ET – NBC (livestream)
Game 5: Tuesday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Game 6: Thursday, Sept. 17, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Game 7: Saturday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m. ET – NBC
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