Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz: Lightning host Islanders in Game 5

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Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, a daily in-depth look at the 2021 NHL postseason. There is one playoff game scheduled for Monday and there was one Sunday.

 

On Tap

There is one game on the Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule Monday:

New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS): The Islanders and Lightning return to Amalie Arena for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals with the best-of-7 series tied. New York evened the series by holding on for a 3-2 victory in Game 4 at home Saturday after leading 3-0 through two periods. Tampa Bay has not lost consecutive games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since being swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2019 Eastern Conference First Round. The Lightning went 7-0 in games following losses on its way to winning the Stanley Cup last season and is 4-0 following losses this postseason, including a 4-2 victory in Game 2 against the Islanders. Tampa Bay forward Brayden Point will seek to become the second player in NHL history to score goals in eight consecutive playoff games, joining Reggie Leach, who had a 10-game goal streak for the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1976 playoffs. Islanders center Mathew Barzal has scored six goals in the past eight games. New York is tied 2-2 for its third straight series. The Islanders won in six games in the first two rounds against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins.

 

What we learned

Here are some takeaways from Day 36 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

Byron starting to produce for Canadiens

Paul Byron scored two points (one goal, one assist) in his first 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games. But the Montreal Canadiens forward has been contributing more lately, scoring three points (two goals, one assist) in his past three games, including a breakaway goal in the Canadiens’ 2-1 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals on Sunday. Canadiens forward Josh Anderson, who played on the third line with Byron, complemented Byron’s speed and physical play in Game 4; and his goal late in the second period gave Montreal a 1-0 lead. The Canadiens said they need to score more if they are to advance past the Golden Knights in this best-of-7 series, which is tied 2-2. Getting production from bottom-six forwards such as Byron is an important step in achieving that. — Tracey Myers, staff writer 

Top six contributes offensively for Vegas

The Vegas Golden Knights still don’t have a goal from their top six forwards in the Stanley Cup Semifinals against the Montreal Canadiens, but two of their top six set up goals in their 2-1 overtime victory in Game 4 at Bell Centre in Montreal on Sunday, helping to even the best-of-7 series. Center William Karlsson sent a pass from behind the goal line into the low right circle for defenseman Brayden McNabb, who tied the game at 10:37 of the third period. Forward Max Pacioretty earned an assist on the winning goal by center Nicolas Roy at 1:18 of overtime. Pacioretty carried the puck from behind the net and took a shot, a key a part of the sequence that ended with Roy putting in his own rebound. — Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist

 

About last night

There was one playoff game Sunday:

Vegas Golden Knights 2, Monreal Canadiens 1 (OT): Nicolas Roy lifted a rebound past Canadiens goalie Carey Price 1:18 into overtime to give the Golden Knights the win in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals at Bell Centre and even the best-of-7 series. Game 5 is at Vegas on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS). Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner made 27 saves in his second start of the playoffs and first since Game 1 of the second round against the Colorado Avalanche. Lehner played in place of Marc-Andre Fleury, whose puck-handling misplay behind the net led to Montreal’s tying goal with 1:50 remaining in Vegas’ 3-2 overtime loss in Game 3 on Friday. Vegas rebounded to win Sunday despite being outshot 28-21. It was the first time in the series the Canadiens outshot the Golden Knights. Montreal took a 1-0 lead on Paul Byron’s breakaway goal with 1:05 remaining in the second period. Defenseman Brayden McNabb tied it for Vegas with his first goal of the playoffs at 10:37 of the third period. Defensemen have scored seven of the Golden Knights’ 10 goal in the series. Roy has scored two of their three goals from forwards. Mattias Janmark, who scored in Game 1, is the only other Vegas forward with a goal in the series.

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