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Islanders-Lightning Game 5 recap: Key stat, turning point, three stars, more

Islanders left wing Matt Martin, center, falls after

Islanders left wing Matt Martin, center, falls after he is hit by Lightning defenseman Luke Schenn as goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, left, looks on during the first period in Game 5 of an NHL Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday in Tampa, Fla. Credit: AP/Chris O'Meara

Final score

Lightning 8, Islanders 0.

Winning goal

Steven Stamkos’ first of two came at 0:45 of the first period.

Turning point

The opening faceoff? That wasn’t far from the truth. The Lightning immediately hemmed the Islanders in their zone on the first shift, generating four shots in the opening 45 seconds and culminating with Steven Stamkos opening the scoring.

Key statistic

The Lightning are 13-0 in games after a playoff loss since the start of the 2020 postseason, the longest such run in NHL history.

Did you notice?

Mathew Barzal risked NHL supplemental discipline going after Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta as the second period ended. Barzal was given a five-minute cross-checking major and a game misconduct. The worst-case scenario would be Barzal being suspended for Game 6, however unlikely that is.

Injury news

Lightning D Erik Cernak (upper body) was not in the Game 5 lineup after briefly retreating to the dressing room in the third period of Game 4 following Matt Martin’s heavy check into the boards.

Other news

There was a moment of silence before Game 5 for Tom Kurvers, the former Islanders defenseman and Lightning executive who was serving as the Wild’s assistant general manager. He passed away Monday at age 58 after battling lung cancers. The 1984 Hobey Baker winner at Minnesota-Duluth played 192 of his 659 career NHL games for the Islanders from 1991-94 and also played for the Canadiens, Sabres, Devils, Maple Leafs, Canucks and Ducks… Captain Anders Lee (right ACL) again worked with the Islanders’ extras during the team’s optional morning skate. Video produced by the team showed Lee naming the starters in the team’s dressing room prior to Game 4 and celebrating with his teammates after their thrilling 3-2 win. "It’s good therapy for him," coach Barry Trotz said. "And good motivation for him. I thought it was really important for him to do the lineup calls just so you know he’s around. But he gets it. He gets the part of how important it is to be someone to lean on even if he’s not in the lineup right now. He’s enjoying it as much as they are."

Three stars

1. Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay): Scored the first goal of the game, and the first against relief goaltender Ilya Sorokin.

2. Alex Killorn (Tampa Bay): Two goals and an assist in the first two periods.

3. Brayden Point (Tampa Bay): Eighth straight playoff game with a goal for him. Plus, an assist.

New York Sports