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Instant analysis: Lightning at Islanders, Game 4

Tampa Bay comeback pushes New York to brink

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

NEW YORK -- The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 in overtime of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Barclays Center on Friday. The Lightning lead the best-of-7 series 3-1.

Defenseman Jason Garrison scored on a point shot 1:34 into overtime to give the Lightning their second straight overtime comeback victory. Nikita Kucherov tied the game 7:49 into the third period. Goaltender Ben Bishop allowed a first-period power-play goal to Kyle Okposo.

What we learned: The Lightning never quit. They were outplayed in Game 3 but tied it three times and won in OT. They were outplayed in Game 4 but came back and won in OT. Islanders captain John Tavares had a point on 11 of New York's first 19 goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs; he has none on their past seven.

What this means for the Islanders: They suffered their second straight demoralizing defeat at home, playing well, losing anyway, and face elimination in Game 5 in Tampa on Sunday. Teams trailing 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs have won the series less than 10 percent of the time.

What this means for the Lightning: They gave themselves an opportunity to make this a short series. After eliminating the Detroit Red Wings in five games in the first round, they can eliminate the Islanders in five if they win at home. That would save wear and tear before an Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins or Washington Capitals.

Video: TBL@NYI, Gm4: Kucherov scores off Johnson's feed

Key moment: With the Islanders leading 1-0 and the fans chanting in the third period, Lightning center Tyler Johnson passed the puck past Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic into the left circle. Kucherov turned and took a quick one-timer, slipping the puck between the pad and blocker of goaltender Thomas Greiss inside the left post, tying the game 1-1 at 7:49. Kucherov has eight goals, two more than anyone else in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Unsung player of the game: Ondrej Palat assisted on the winning goal. The forward played 23:46, led the Lightning with five blocked shots, and had three takeaways and three hits.

What's next: Game 5 at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports). The Lightning would return to the Eastern Conference Final with a win.

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