NEW YORK -- It started in warmups, when New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic bumped Tampa Bay Lightning center Brian Boyle at the red line and the two had words. It escalated in the second period, when Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey crushed Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin with a hard, clean check that sent him flying onto his back and gliding to the dressing room.
This was Brooklyn. This was the first second-round Stanley Cup Playoff game the Islanders had hosted since 1993. And with the fans roaring, the Islanders were going to re-establish their gritty identity, throwing hits, generating traffic, getting pucks to the net, showing how tough they could be to play against.