After a Game 1 loss, the Tampa Bay Lightning came out in Game 2 looking to tie up the series. And that is just what they did.
The Tampa Bay offense took a total turnaround from Game 1. Nikita Kucherov led the offense with three assists on the night.
Just three minutes into the game, a brawl ensued that was followed by some words. Patrick Maroon and Scott Mayfield were sent off due to stick holding.
The two teams were then 4-on-4 before Anthony Cirelli caught Ryan Purlock’s stick in the face.
Neither team had success on scoring any goals on the four-on-three or the five-on-four.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) June 16, 2021
The Lightning took the led first after a shot from Brayden Point hit the back of the Islanders net.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was able to deflect Travis Zajac shot and then Kyle Palmieri rebound attempt, but that did not stop the Islanders. Excitement only lasted a few minutes before Point was called for a controversial penalty after running into New York goalie Varlamov.
The hit resulted in Varlamov’s exit of the game and was replaced by Ilya Sorokin.
The Islanders were able to use their advantage on the powerplay to tie the game 1-1.
Varlamov returned to the net at the beginning of the second period for the Islanders though neither side saw much action in the first ten minutes of the period.
The Lightning found themselves in the midst of a line change that had six players on the ice at once. A missed call by the referees and linesman resulted in a goal for Tampa Bay giving them a 2-1 lead with six to go in the period.
The Islanders responded with good defense after the goal but were unable to answer. Tampa Bay has some good shots that saw even better saves by Varlamov. The score remained 2-1 heading into the final period.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 16, 2021
After taking a time-out to get the first line back on the ice, the Lightning were unable to get anything going.
Until, Jan Rutta.
Rutta became the first defenseman for the Lightning to score a goal after putting on in the back of the net. A game full of firsts also brought Victor Hedman his first playoff goal.
That is until a face-off win led to a penalty on New York and gave Hedman his chance to score.
And that is what he did. 4-1 Bolts.
The Islanders were not ready to throw it in yet, a rebound shot from Barzal got past Vasalevskiy to bring them within 2 but that was as close as they could get.
The game ended just the way they game was played. Choppy. As the horn secured a Tampa Bay victory, pent up frustration led to a teamwide brawl separated by officials.
Up Next for the Lightning
The Lightning are on the road for Game 3 Thursday night.