Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli wristed one off the post and Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov looked to be frozen in time. The puck had deflected in behind him.
The New York Islanders’ longest playoff run since 1993 came to a screeching halt as the Tampa Bay Lightning took a 2-1 overtime win in Game 6 in Edmonton, Alberta to advance to the Stanley Cup finals against the Dallas Stars.
“Until that very last minute, every single one of us believed in each other and what we were doing and the road we were on,” an emotional captain Anders Lee said following the season-ending loss. “Obviously we came up short, but there’s just a huge sense of pride right now in every single one of those guys in our room, everyone involved.”
The Islanders had the game on their stick a handful of times throughout the extra period, but in a split second there was no tomorrow in Edmonton.
It was déjà vu when the Islanders were called for a double-minor high-sticking penalty with just over a minute left on the clock in regulation. Andy Greene drew blood from Nikita Kucherov and the Isles were suddenly opening up overtime on the penalty kill, just as they did in Game 5 when Anthony Beauvillier was the culprit.