UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Nassau Coliseum will live to see another day.
It was Tampa Bay’s game to lose after they grabbed a 2-0 lead by the middle of the second period. Brayden Point extended his playoff goal-scoring streak to nine games and Anthony Cirelli beat Semyon Varlamov five-hole to give the Lightning the advantage.
But in what could be the final Islanders game at the Coliseum, the home side wasn’t about to go out without a fight.
Facing elimination for the first time this postseason, New York clawed back with Jordan Eberle‘s goal less than two minutes after Cirelli gave the Lightning a two-goal advantage. That was the Islanders’ first goal in 116:25 and ended Tampa Bay’s run of 12 consecutive goals in the series.
The score would remain 2-1 until midway through the third period with the 13,000 in attendance trying to will the the home side back into the game.
With New York controlling the puck, Mathew Barzal found a streaking Scott Mayfield, who was flying into the offensive zone following a line change. The Islanders defenseman proceeded to wire a wrist shot over Andrei Vasilevskiy’s glove to even the score and give the Islanders’ life.
That wasn’t the only eventful play Mayfield was involved in in Game 6. Early in the first period his cross-check left Nikita Kucherov injured and forced the NHL’s leading scorer in the playoffs out for the remainder of the game.
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper had no update on Kucherov after the game.
In overtime, Beauvillier knocked down a Blake Coleman pass in the Lightning zone and gripped and ripped it to keep the series going and start the beer shower.
“It feels amazing, to be honest,” Beauvillier said afterward. “That building coming into overtime was smelling like cigarettes and now it smells like beers.”
This is the second straight postseason the two teams needed overtime in a Game 6. Last fall, the Lightning knocked out the Islanders in the Eastern Conference Final after a goal from Cirelli.
The Islanders promised we would see a different team than the one that lost 8-0 on Monday night. A short memory was needed, and then their coach challenged them.
“[Game 6] means how much you want to commit to have one shot at going to the Stanley Cup Final,” Barry Trotz said on Tuesday. “How much are you willing to commit? That’s really the message. Go after it, guys, because you only get so many cracks at this.”
Both teams will get their last crack to go play for the Stanley Cup in Game 7 Friday night at AMALIE Arena.
ISLANDERS VS. LIGHTNING (Series tied 3-3) – series livestream link
Game 1: Islanders 2, Lightning 1
Game 2: Lightning 4, Islanders 2
Game 3: Lightning 2, Islanders 1
Game 4: Islanders 3, Lightning 2
Game 5: Lightning 8, Islanders 0
Game 6: Islanders 3, Lightning 2 (OT)
Game 7: Fri. June 25: Islanders at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN / Peacock)