Jordan Eberle scored the game winner in double overtime, finishing off a two-on-one break with Anders Lee as the NHL’s New York Islanders staved off playoff elimination by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on Tuesday.
Eberle buried a one-timer at 12 minutes, 30 seconds of the second extra session to cut the Lightning’s lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final series to 3-2.
The play started with Lee chipping the puck off the boards and out of his own zone then racing up the ice and waiting for the perfect moment to slip it over to Eberle who fired a shot past sliding Tampa goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Islanders coach Barry Trotz said he knew his players would not go down without a fight.
“Our guys didn’t waver, they just kept grinding,” Trotz said. “We didn’t give up and that’s a great sign for moving forward.”
Game 6 is to be played today in Edmonton with a berth in the Stanley Cup finals against the Dallas Stars up for grabs.
Game 7, if necessary, is scheduled for Saturday.
New York goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves in a brilliant performance, especially in overtime.
The Lightning, who won the Stanley Cup in 2004, are missing their two top players, Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos.
Point was injured in Game 2 and missed Game 3. He returned for Game 4. but did not play late in the third period after going hard into the boards with New York’s Adam Pelech.
Point leads the Lightning with nine goals and is tied for the league lead with 25 points.
Stamkos has not played since undergoing core muscle surgery on March 2.
The task was simple for the Islanders on Tuesday: Win or go home.
The Islanders opened the scoring when Ryan Pulock scored with the man advantage. Pulock unloaded a bullet from the left point for his team’s second powerplay goal of the series at the 15:41 mark of the opening period.
Victor Hedman replied four minutes into the second period to tie the score 1-1. Hedman glided into a slap shot from the high slot and beat Varlamov on the short side.
Hedman joins Brian Leetch as the first defenseman to score eight goals in a single playoff. Leetch had 11 in 1994.
“It came down to one play. It’s tough for us obviously, but this is hockey,” Hedman said. “It’s how you respond to this that’s going to define you as a team. I’m not worried about how our group’s going to respond to this.”
The Islanders had to kill off a four-minute penalty to Anthony Beauvillier for high sticking that was called with just 83 seconds left in the third period and stretched into the first overtime.
World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying yesterday eased past her Thai opponent to advance to the second round of the Toyota Thailand Open. The Taiwanese star toppled world No. 46 Supanida Katethong 21-16, 21-11 in 29 minutes at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. “I think I played OK today. I am feeling a little better than last week,” Tai said. Tomorrow, Tai faces Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. The two have faced each other six times, with Tai beating the world No. 21 in all six matches. Tai on Sunday reached the final of the Yonex Thailand Open before losing decisively against Carolina Marin of Spain.
LOOKING TO REPEAT: World No. 7 Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin advanced to the round-of-16 at the Toyota Thailand Open, after winning the Yonex Thailand Open on Sunday Taiwan’s world No. 7 duo yesterday eased past the US’ world No. 37 pairing at the Toyota Thailand Open to reach the round-of-16 in Bangkok. Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin beat Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew 21-14, 21-11 in just 24 minutes. Lee and Wang, who won the men’s doubles title at the Yonex Thailand Open on Sunday, next face the world No. 34 pairing, Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura. In men’s singles, Taiwan’s world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen again beat Thailand’s world No. 45 Suppanyu Avihingsanon, after edging past the Thai player in the opening round of the Yonex
SWEEP THE LEG: Poirier, determined to best McGregor, after losing to him in 2014, used low calf kicks to throw ‘Notorious’ off his stand-up game, before dropping him American underdog Dustin Poirier yesterday shook up the world of mixed martial arts, beating up the legs of Irish superstar Conor McGregor before knocking him out at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi. “I’m happy, but I’m not surprised. I put in the work,” Poirier said, after the referee stepped in after 2 minutes, 32 seconds of the second round to save McGregor from further damage, after he was dropped by a fierce combination of punches. The 32-year-old Poirier was ranked second in the flyweight division going into the fight, but still rated a heavy underdog by bookmakers to beat his fourth-ranked opponent,
Three new COVID-19 cases yesterday hit the Australian Open’s troubled buildup as a backlash grew against international tennis players flown in during a raging pandemic. Two of the new cases were players, state health officials said, taking the total infections to seven since more than 1,000 people arrived in largely COVID-19-free Australia on charter flights last week. The Victoria Department of Health and Human Services said that the two players and a third person associated with the tournament — a woman in her 20s, and two men in their 30s — had returned positive results. The year’s first Grand Slam, delayed three weeks,