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Lightning to face New York Islanders in second round of 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs

by Bryan Burns / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning have played the New York Islanders just once previously in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The year?

2004

Tampa Bay fans remember the series fondly as the beginning of a two-month playoff odyssey that would culminate in the franchise’s only Stanley Cup.

Perhaps Lightning will strike twice in 2016.

The Islanders advanced to the Second Round late Sunday night after defeating the Atlantic Division champion Florida Panthers four games to two, the Isles prevailing in double overtime 2-1 in Game 6 to setup a second-ever playoff date with the Lightning.

Tampa Bay will have home-ice advantage in the series and will host Games 1 and 2 later this week (time and date to be announced).

In that lone previous playoff meeting in the 2004 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the Lightning split the opening two games at home before sweeping the Islanders on the road and winning three-consecutive games to prevail in five. The first four games in the series were decided by a 3-0 score.

Martin St. Louis provided the game-winning goal in overtime of a 3-2 home victory in Game 5 to send the Lightning through to the next round to play the Montreal Canadiens, who they would sweep. The Bolts went seven games with Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference Final and again against Calgary in the Stanley Cup Final on their way to winning the Cup.

During the 2015-16 regular season, Tampa Bay went 1-2-0 against the Islanders, splitting a pair of games at Amalie Arena and dropping a late-season tilt at the Barclays Center 5-2 (April 4). The Bolts put up seven goals in their lone win over the Isles (7-4, March 25), the most they scored in a game all season.

Tampa Bay is 5-2-1 at home against the Islanders since the start of the 2011-12 season. The Lightning are just 1-7-0 at New York over the last five seasons, although all of those games, except one, were played at Nassau Coliseum.

The Round Two schedule will be released at a later date. The Lightning will host Games 1, 2 and if necessary Games 5 and 7.

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