TAMPA, Fla. — Has any team in hockey been able to bounce back better than the Tampa Bay Lightning?
The reigning Stanley Cup champions are 12-0 in games following a postseason loss since the start of their title run last year.
What You Need To Know
- GAME 5: Tampa Bay Lightning host NY Islanders Monday, 8 p.m.
- Series tied at 2 games each after New York's 3-2 win Saturday
- PREVIOUS STORY: Lightning comeback falls short in Game 4
- RELATED: Bolts radio broadcast team of Mishkin and Esposito shine off the ice
And after Saturday night’s 3-2 loss at the New York Islanders, the Lightning will need to rebound tonight at Amalie Arena in Game 5 to regain a series advantage in the Stanley Cup playoff semifinals.
With the semifinal series between the teams tied at two games apiece, playoff veterans Tyler Johnson and Victor Hedman are confident the Lightning will respond with a strong performance Monday.
New York has already exhibited some fortitude of its own, rebounding from losing Games 2 and 3 to even the best-of-seven series with a 3-2 victory on Saturday. The Islanders also erased series deficits by winning Game 4s the previous two rounds.
“Now it’s the best of three. You have to look ahead, you have to move forward,” Johnson said after the Islanders scored three second-period goals, then held off a furious Tampa Bay comeback to avoid moving to the brink of elimination.
The Lightning, in the NHL’s final four for the fifth time in seven years, look to build on a response that began after New York scored three times in the second period to build a 3-0 lead on Saturday night.
Johnson and Brayden Point scored in the third for Tampa Bay, and Ryan McDonagh was denied a potential overtime-forcing goal in the closing seconds when Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock made a diving, game-saving stop.
The defending champs haven’t lost consecutive playoff games since being swept by Columbus in the first round in 2019. They’ve won six straight postseason series and haven’t been pushed beyond six games in any of them, including a 4-2 victory over the Islanders in last year’s Eastern Conference final.
“We have to learn from our mistakes and play well a full 60 minutes,” said Johnson, who had a third-period goal Saturday. “We got the home ice back. We’ve got to use it to our advantage.”
Game 6 is Wednesday night at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Game 7, if necessary, would be back in Florida on Friday.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.