In three points: Islanders vs Lightning, Game 7

Islanders vs Lightning
Series four of seven equals 3-3

The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders meet in an ultimate game at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Friday.

The winner will have the ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Final and face off against the Montreal Canadiens, who eliminated the Vegas Golden Knights with a 3-2 overtime victory at the Bell Center on Thursday.

READ ALSO : Kucherov represents uncertain case ahead of Game 7

The Lightning won the Stanley Cup last season. The Islanders haven’t reached the Final since 1984.

« This is the opportunity to take another step forward, » said the Islanders defenseman. Andy Greene. This is what we focus on. It will be a great game and a great challenge. Two very good teams, we can’t wait. You owe it to yourself to enjoy these moments because you never know. « 

The Lightning could be deprived of Nikita Kucherov, the NHL playoff point guard with 27 points (five goals, 22 assists).

Kucherov was injured early in the first period in Game 6 at the Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday and did not return to play afterwards. He didn’t take part in the Lightning’s morning practice Friday.

“Not sure,” coach Jon Cooper was content to say. “I would like to give you the answers regarding training. But I can’t so we’ll have to wait until tonight. « 

The Lightning are 13-0 following a playoff loss since being swept away by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round in 2019.

“Our team is very good at turning the page quickly,” said Cooper. I love our state of mind since yesterday morning, and I love it even more this morning. « 

The Islanders won the only Game 7 they played under Barry Trotz 4-0 against the Philadelphia Flyers last season.

The Lightning, on the other hand, have gone down in the last two No.7 games they have played – against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference final in 2016 and against the Washington Capitals in the final of the Is in 2018.

Trotz led the Capitals in 2018.

« Every youngster dreams of playing a No. 7 game with a place in the Final at stake, » said the Lightning forward. Blake coleman. We feel good. « 

Historically, teams that score the first goal in Game 7 are 137-46.

Here are three things that will grab your attention for Game 7:

1. The status of Kucherov

The Lightning played without Kucherov throughout the season as he recovered from hip surgery.

If he can’t play, Tampa Bay will have to adjust as they did in the regular season. Kucherov only made one ice presence in Game 6 before abdicating.

« We have several guys who can do the job, » said the forward Alex killorn. We have been doing this throughout the season. […] We are more determined than ever, and I think we showed in the last game that we can do it. « 

2. Barzal in possession of the puck

The center player Mathew Barzal was quick and sensational with the puck in Game 6, and he probably played his best game of the series. Barzal had two assists and, on both goals, he pulled several Lightning players towards him before passing.

New York will need a fit Barzal for the ultimate encounter, as he has the ability to control the game like few other players can.

“It attracts attention,” Greene noted. When he plays this well, he’s threatening. He attacks the net and his plays create space for other guys. His best asset is when he goes into attack mode. « 

Video: TBL @ NYI, # 6: Mayfield shoots 2-2 with a perfect shot

3. Pressure in neutral zone

The team that was able to generate the most speed in the central zone was the one that created the most momentum.

“It’s a very important aspect in this series,” said Killorn.

The Islanders were better at this element of the game in the second period in Game 4, when they were also intense in check before. They took the opportunity to take a 3-0 lead.

The Lightning came back strong from the third period of Game 4 through the first half of Game 6, scoring 12 unanswered goals.

But the Islanders regained the ascendancy scoring the last three goals in Game 6.

Islanders training planned
Leo komarov – Mathew Barzal – Jordan eberle
Anthony BeauvillierBrock NelsonJosh bailey
Kyle palmieriJean-Gabriel PageauTravis Zajac
Matt MartinCasey cizikasCal clutterbuck

Adam pelechRyan pulock
Nick leddyScott mayfield
Andy Greene – Noah dobson

Semyon Varlamov
Ilya Sorokin

Entrenched: Cole Bardreau, Kieffer Bellows, Austin czarnik, Anatoly Golyshev, Simon holmstrom, Ross johnston, Otto Koivula, Dmytro Timashov, Oliver wahlstrom, Sebastian aho, Samuel Bolduc, Braydon Coburn, Thomas hickey, Grant hutton, Bode Wilde, Ken appleby, Cory schneider
Injured: Michael Dal Colle (undisclosed)

Planned Lightning training
Ondrej PalatBrayden Point – Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn – Anthony CirelliSteven stamkos
Barclay goodrowYanni Gourde – Blake Coleman
Ross coltonTyler johnsonPat maroon

Victor hedmanJan Rutta
Ryan mcdonaghDavid Savard
Mikhail SergachevLuke schenn

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Curtis McElhinney

Entrenched: Alex Barré-Boulet, Mathieu Joseph, Boris Katchouk, Taylor Raddysh, Gemel Smith, Mitchell stephens, Daniel Walcott, Fredrik claesson, Cal Foote, Ben thomas, Christopher Gibson, Spencer Martin
Injured: Erik Cernak (upper body)

In the notebook

Cernak took part in morning practice, but Cooper did not provide details on his defender’s status. The latter has missed the last two games. … The Islanders should use the same lineup as in the first six games of the series.

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