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Three goals in 27 seconds make difference for Lightning and Islanders

By Diana C. Nearhos, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Hockey

After the Islanders scored the first goal of Game 4 on Sunday afternoon, Lightning coach Jon Cooper told his same line of three forwards to go back out there and get one goal. They did just that, 15 seconds later.

It was part of a stretch of three combined goals in 27 seconds, the fourth-quickest in NHL playoff history. The Lightning's two goals there made the difference in a 4-1 win over the Islanders in the Eastern Conference final at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

New York center Brock Nelson started it all. He stuck with the puck, even as center Yanni Gourde tried to bat it away, then sniped a shot top shelf past goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

As the Lightning re-grouped at the bench, Cooper challenged the line of Gourde, Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow, and they answered.

Vasilevskiy played the puck to Gourde from behind the net, while Coleman slipped behind the Islanders. Gourde threw a long, one-hop outlet pass to Coleman. The winger switched the puck from forehand to backhand as he slid the puck past goalie Semyon Varlamov's pads.

 

Earlier in the series, Coleman, who hasn't scored at the same clip with the Lightning as his 21 goals in 66 regular-season games with New Jersey, quipped that the Lightning had three-and-a-half lines that can score.

Ondrej Palat added another goal 12 seconds after that, finishing on a nice play from both Kucherov and Point.

The Lightning notched two more goals - one from Point and an empty-netter by Pat Maroon - but that 27 seconds was the swing that determined the game. They now have a chance to finish out the series on Tuesday.

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