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game recap

Garrison, Lightning defeat Islanders in OT of Game 4

Defenseman scores 1:34 into extra period to give Tampa Bay 3-1 series lead

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- For the second straight game, the Tampa Bay Lightning took everything the New York Islanders could throw at them, tied the game in the third period and won in overtime.

Jason Garrison scored 1:34 into OT to give the Lightning a 2-1 victory against the Islanders in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series at Barclays Center on Friday. Garrison beat New York goalie Thomas Greiss with a shot from the right point that went through traffic after the Lightning hemmed the Islanders in their own zone.

"He's got a bomb back there," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We have to get the puck in a position where he can shoot it. That one was a rocket."

As was the case in Game 3 on Tuesday, the Lightning played from behind for most of the night before pulling even and then totally dominating before scoring a quick goal in overtime.

"You try to create a forecheck, create some pressure, take shots from all over the ice," Garrison said of the Lightning's strategy in OT.

Video: TBL@NYI, Gm4: Garrison's overtime-winning slap shot

Tampa Bay leads the best-of-7 series 3-1 and can advance to the Eastern Conference Final by winning Game 5 at Amalie Arena on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

"It's a quick turnaround here on Sunday, afternoon game," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "We've just got to win one, so we'll start there. We believe in this team. Everyone's been sticking together all year and overcome a lot. It's a great opportunity for us. We'll just focus on Sunday."

New York coach Jack Capuano said he was happy with everything but the outcome.

"I can't ask for a better effort from our guys than we had for the last six periods," he said. "That shot [by Garrison] had eyes."

For the second straight game, Nikita Kucherov got the third-period goal that forced overtime, though he didn't wait until the final minute as he did Tuesday in Tampa Bay's 5-4 victory.

Kucherov tied it 1-1 at 7:49 of the third period, taking a feed from behind the net by Tyler Johnson and beating Greiss to the short side from near the left faceoff dot. It was Kucherov's NHL-leading eighth goal of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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

"I like playing under pressure," the 25-year-old said. "I just try to help my team as much as I can. I'm just lucky to score the goals."

Kucherov had 10 goals and 22 points in the Lightning's run to the Stanley Cup Final last year, and Cooper said his performance this spring is more than luck.

"He's not a one-hit wonder," Cooper said. "He did this last year in the playoffs. He carries it into the regular season and gets 30 goals. Now we're playing on the biggest stage, and he continues to amaze."

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop made 27 saves, allowing only a first-period power-play goal by Kyle Okposo. He was under siege in the first period, when the Islanders outshot the Lightning 16-6.

Greiss made 19 saves, and rookie Jean-Francois Berube made two while playing briefly in the second period. Greiss left 1:27 into the period when his right skate blade broke; Berube played 4:47 before Greiss returned.

Video: TBL@NYI, Gm4: Greiss loses blade, goes to locker room

The Islanders took advantage of their first power play to take a 1-0 lead 4:20 into the game. After Tampa Bay's Mike Blunden was called for roughing Ryan Strome, Okposo found a dead spot in the defense inside the left circle, took a passout by Nikolay Kulemin and beat Bishop to the top far corner for his second goal of the playoffs.

New York had two more excellent chances before the first period was 10 minutes old. At 9:11, Strome's tip-in try hit Bishop and slid under him, but a video review upheld the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the goal line. Less than 40 seconds later, Shane Prince picked up a rebound in the slot and hit the crossbar.

The Islanders also failed to capitalize later in the period when Lightning forward Ryan Callahan was assessed a double minor for roughing. But they ended the period up 1-0 after holding Tampa Bay without a shot for the final 12:05.

"You know there's going to be a push on the road," Bishop said of New York's first-period dominance. "They're feeding off this crowd. You try to keep them in there, just worry about the next save. You keep the team in and eventually they came through."

The Lightning picked up their game in the second period, outshooting the Islanders 11-6, but they were unable to score on three power plays, managing four shots on goal.

The Islanders will head for Tampa knowing that anything less than a win means their season is over.

"Probably our two best games of the playoffs, to be honest," forward Matt Martin said of New York's performance in Games 3 and 4. "We were getting the bounces in the Florida series. Maybe they're getting a little more of the bounces right now. We've just got to fight through it."

Video: Lightning take 3-1 series lead on Garrison's OT goal

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