The New York Islanders tied up their series, 2-2, on Saturday, thanks to a boost from the crowd at Nassau Coliseum. In the West, can the Vegas Golden Knights do the same against the Colorado Avalanche tonight at T-Mobile Arena?
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The series shifts back to Montreal, where the Habs can put the Jets on the brink of elimination with another win. The banged-up Jets are all of a sudden looking like underdogs, though they’re projecting confidence. Winnipeg will once again be without one of its best forwards, Mark Scheifele (serving the second game of four-game suspension), and one of its best defenesmen, Dylan DeMelo (out at least a week with injury), but could welcome back veteran center Paul Stastny. That could help them generate some offense, as they’ve only scored three goals in two games.
Montreal and its shutdown playoff goalie, Carey Price, haven’t had much rest. With Games 3 and 4 being played on back-to-back days, the Habs will have played 11 games in just 19 days.
The Golden Knights fell behind 0-2 in this series, but had no fear: they just hadn’t been to the Fortress yet. In front of 17,000-plus fans on home ice at T-Mobile Arena, Vegas scored twice in less than three minutes during the third period to take Game 3 and make this series interesting. The advanced stats show Golden Knights dominance — they controlled 75% of the high-danger shot attempt share — and the Avs haven’t been pleased with their effort, dating back to Game 2. “The easy answer is this: For five periods straight now, they’ve been far more competitive than we have,” coach Jared Bednar said. “To dissect the game any further than that is a waste of time.”
One thing going for Colorado is still Mikko Rantanen, who is riding a 17-game point streak in the playoffs. The top-line winger also has points in 22 of his last 23 playoff games.
About last night
Tampa Bay led, 1-0, after the first period. And then things got wonky. The second period featured each team scoring four goals, as the Lightning made a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 lead in a flash.
Four unanswered goals?
Well, why not 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/MFz23L7XJk
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 5, 2021
The Canes’ demise was giving the Lightning too many power plays. “Well, we took too many penalties,” coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “You can’t take the penalties no matter if you’re getting [your own] calls or not. You can’t take the risk.”The real reason the Canes can’t take that many: Tampa Bay’s power play is operating on another level. The Lightning were 3-for-6 on the man advantage in this game, and have scored five power-play goals in the last two games alone. That said, the Canes should feel good about scoring four goals on Andrei Vasilevsky. Full recap
Another big night at the Coliseum. It was an inauspicious start for the Bruins, as David Pastrnak had a wide open net, and hit the post. “When your best player hits the post on an open net … it’s going to be one of those nights we’re probably not getting breaks,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We’ve got to go earn them.”
Pastrnak with a wide open cage hits iron pic.twitter.com/JfYRWmFYCf
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) June 5, 2021
David Krejci opened the scoring for Boston, but Kyle Palmieri tied it up. Mathew Barzal then scored his second goal in as many games. It was a massive one, as it broke a 1-1 tie late in the third. Barzal also assisted on Palmieri’s goal. Full recap
Three stars of the night
New York’s most skilled forward didn’t score in the Islanders first eight playoff games. He now has a goal in two straight games, both played at the Isles’ barn.
— x – Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) June 6, 2021
In the second period outburst, Stamkos scored two of Tampa’s four goals. The Lightning captain added an assist (also in the second) for his best performance this postseason.
The former MVP scored two goals and added an assist to give him an impressive 17 points through 10 payoff games. Since Kucherov debuted in 2014, no player has more three-point playoff games than his 14.
Unexpected moment of the night
Taylor Hall has been a revelation with Boston since arriving at the trade deadline. He’s buzzing on the second line with David Krejci and Craig Smith, putting up the type of offensive numbers everyone hoped for in Buffalo.
Hall hasn’t been shy about wanting to stay with the Bruins past this season. He’s a smart guy, he knows what he’s doing. So what better way to endear yourself to the Boston fan base than …
Taylor Hall challenges and fights Scott Mayfield in Game 4 pic.twitter.com/q7gfCfqDFq
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) June 5, 2021
Per hockeyfights.com, that was Hall’s second fight since 2011. If management doesn’t sign him to a new deal this summer, fans in Boston may revolt.