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game recap

Islanders top Lightning in 2OT in Game 5 of East Final, avoid elimination

Eberle wins it at 12:30, Varlamov makes 36 saves for New York

by Wes Crosby / Independent Correspondent

Eberle's double overtime winner

NYI@TBL, Gm5: Eberle nets one-timer for 2OT winner

ECF, Gm5: Jordan Eberle buries a one-timer in the circle on the rush to give the Islanders a 2-1 double-overtime win against the Lightning

  • 01:04 •

Jordan Eberle scored at 12:30 of the second overtime, and the New York Islanders avoided elimination with a 2-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Tuesday. 

Skating on a 2-on-1, Anders Lee sent a pass under Mikhail Sergachev's stick to Eberle for a one-timer from the right circle. 

"The boys battled hard tonight," Eberle said. "We had some moments in the [defensive] zone, and especially in overtime, where we had a broken stick, collapsed and just held on. Just waited for our chance. Obviously, to score that, continue to move on and give ourselves another chance in a couple days, it's huge." 


[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Lightning highlights]


Tampa Bay had a four-minute power play that spanned the third period and first overtime after Anthony Beauvillier was called for high-sticking but managed two shots on goal. 

"You can't sit here and say we didn't get looks," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of that power play. "We had some looks. They didn't go in. It's hockey, sometimes it happens. … The way you win those games is to defend the way we've been defending. And if we keep doing that, I've got a lot of faith in this group." 

Video: NYI@TBL, Gm5: Hedman shovels home rebound in slot

Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves, and Ryan Pulock scored for the Islanders, the No. 6 seed, who had six or fewer shots on goal in each of the five periods. 

"Our guys didn't waver," New York coach Barry Trotz said. "They just kept grinding. We kept grinding and grinding. You can get some energy from it, there's no question." 

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves, and Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning, the No. 2 seed, who played without forward Brayden Point for the second time in three games (lost Game 3 5-3 without him).

Cooper said it was too early to tell if Point would be able to play in Game 6 of the best-of-7 series in Edmonton, the hub city for the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final, on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS). 

Video: NYI@TBL, Gm5: Pulock tees up heavy one-timer for PPG

Pulock gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 15:41 of the first period, scoring on a one-timer past a screen by Lee. 

The goal was New York's first with the man-advantage since the first period of Game 1 (failed on 13 straight chances). 

Hedman tied it 1-1 at 4:00 of the second period. A rebound off a shot from Blake Coleman went to Hedman in the slot, where he scored on a slap shot for his fifth goal in the past seven games. 

Carter Verhaeghe appeared to give the Lightning the lead at 10:01 of the second, but Cedric Paquette was determined to be offside on the play following a challenge by Trotz. 

"I know how this team reacts to adversity," Hedman said. "We've been through this before, a lot of us in this room. There's a lot of ups and downs in the playoffs. … It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you've got to have your focus on the next one. That's the only way you can get through a playoff run."  

Video: EA Sports Overtime Winner: Eberle wins it for Isles

The game lasted 92:30, making it the fourth longest in this round since the conference finals format was adopted for the 1981-82 season, and the longest possible elimination game. The Islanders' 24 shots were the fewest in any NHL game lasting this long since 1967.

"You'd do anything to get the win, and we did," said Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who played for the first time since Game 1 against the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers on Aug. 1. "We've just got to put it behind us and look forward to the next one." 

NOTES: The Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks played the longest conference finals game on May 19, 2015, when the Blackhawks won 3-2 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final after 116:12. … Pulock has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 21 playoff games. He is the first Islanders defenseman to score at least 10 points in a postseason since Tomas Jonsson (two goals, 12 assists), Ken Morrow (five goals, seven assists) and Denis Potvin (eight goals, 12 assists) in 1983. … Hedman has eight goals in the playoffs, tying Paul Coffey (1984), Ray Bourque (1983) and Potvin (1981, 1983) for the fourth-most by a defenseman in NHL postseason history. Coffey has the record with 12 goals for the Edmonton Oilers in 1985. staff writer Mike Zeisberger contributed to this report 

Video: Eberle, Islanders stave off elimination with 2OT win

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