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Islanders vs. Lightning Game 2 Gameday News: Aiming to take a 2-0 lead back to the Coliseum

That would be a commanding lead, as they say.

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New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
You’d be an angry person, too, if your name was Barclay.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

We, as fans, can rest assured that even if the New York Islanders lose tonight’s Game 2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Islanders will have accomplished the all-important goal of earning a 1-1 road split. They have already stolen home-ice advantage from Tampa Bay. When a team starts its series on the road, it wants to do what the Islanders have done already.

But damn, wouldn’t it be sweet to take Game 2, too? The Isles would take a 2-0 series lead back to Nassau Coliseum for two games, and they would leave themselves five chances—including three chances at home—to win two games. This prolific Lightning team, beginning with the last postseason, has dropped Game 1 of its series twice and gone on to win both series, starting by winning Game 2. But it has not faced a 2-0 deficit since the Columbus Blue Jackets swept them.

Let’s see what tonight brings. You know that the Lightning will adjust after Game 1 and will come out flying. The Islanders need to weather the storm (no pun intended) and get back to their game.

Islanders vs. Lightning News

  • LISTEN! Mike and Dan broke down the Islanders’ clinical win over the Lightning in Game 1, marveling at the complete team effort. [Islanders Anxiety Ep. 162]
  • Dan also broke down Game 1, as well as Games 5 and 6 from the last round, and looked ahead to the upcoming week of Lightning games. He also took aim at some Boston sportswriters. [LHH Back & Forth]
  • Oliver Wahlstrom is officially healthy enough to play, but Barry Trotz is sticking with Travis Zajac for the time being. [Newsday]
  • This Islanders team can beat any team that they face as long as they stick to its game plan. [Best @ Newsday]
  • It also helps when Semyon Varlamov, your Vezina-caliber goalie, outduels the NHL’s “best” goalie in Andrei Vasilevskiy. [NY Post]
  • Another thing that helps is facing the team that broke your heart nine months ago. The Isles are using the pain of last year to fuel this year’s run. [NHL]
  • Cal Clutterbuck said that the Isles’ focus is on “each other,” not any of the outside noise—positive or negative. [amNY]
  • Three things that Tampa Bay learned from Game 1, including that the Lightning now face its first real adversity this postseason. [Lightning]
  • The Lightning feel that Game 1 was more about what they did not do rather than what the Islanders did. Sure, Jan. [Newsday]
  • A house divided: Islanders fans and Lightning fans talked up their teams outside Amalie Arena. [ABC]
  • Isles legend Clark Gillies talked about his Dan Feeney-inspired beer can head crush. [NY Post]
  • LISTEN! The Newsday crew also broke down Game 1. As he wrote in his column linked above, the Islanders have convinced Neil Best that they can hang with any team. [Island Ice Ep. 98]
  • Win some tickets to Game 3!
  • Not playoff-related, but nice to see the team helping out its community.

Beyond Long Island and North-Central-West Florida

In the other Stanley Cup Semifinal, the Vegas Golden Knights earned a 4-1 victory at home in Game 1, taking a 1-0 series lead over the Montreal Canadiens.

  • This is Montreal’s first taste of adversity in a while, having won seven straight games, before last night, dating back to their series with the Toronto Maple Leafs. [NHL]
  • A big storyline heading into the Vegas-Montreal was the Max Pacioretty trade. But it seems like all involved have moved on. [The Athletic]
  • The Canadiens employ only one French-Canadian; meanwhile, the Knights rostered the most Canadians of any team and also have four French-Canadians. Not all of them were Habs fans growing up, though. [The Athletic]
  • Goalies have a reputation for being a bit crazy. But the “super easygoing” Carey Price bucks that trend. [The Athletic]
  • The New York Rangers reportedly have hired Gerard Gallant to be their next coach. It seemed like a match made in heaven. [amNY]
  • Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne won the King Clancy Trophy. [NHL]
  • Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said that it would be mutually beneficial for the team and the player if pending UFA Taylor Hall stayed in Boston. [NHL]