Last night in Game 2, the Islanders would strike first, but the Lightning would strike last. The Islanders enjoyed a lead of 1 – 0 in Period 1, but briefly, as the Lightning would come back and tie the game before the first 20 minutes were up. After this, the tie remained for nearly the remaining 40 minutes of regulation play, that is until the Lightning scored with just over 7 seconds left, pulling off a nail-biting 2 – 1 win over the Islanders. This gives the Lighting an edge in the series, with a 2 game lead, as the Islanders have not been able to take one yet.
While this was the game played, this is by no means the biggest story from Game 2, but rather the stage for the big penalty that became the story of the night. The Lightning’s number 17, Alex Killorn, will not return for Game 3 after being suspended for a rough hit on Islander Brock Nelson. Slamming him into the boards, Nelson was helped on the ice, and Killnorn was escorted back to the locker room upon refs giving a 5 Minute Major Penalty call, eliminating him from the remainder of Game 2. There has been no update on Nelson’s condition, or if any injuries were suffered from this hit. However, he went back to the Islander’s locker room for evaluation, and to my knowledge watching the game last night, he did not return to the bench for Periods 2 or 3. We will see if he returns to play tomorrow evening in Game 3.
As you can imagine, after this hit the physical play and desire to win grew for the islanders, and they nearly edged out a win had it not been for that last-second shot by the Lightning, destroying their chance at overtime. Regardless, without Killnoe in Game 3 the Islanders could have an advantage, and a reason beyond advancement, if Nelson is out due to injury. Teams are a very close-knit group, and the bubble has just enhanced the work-family experience. Each team will be missing a member due to a bad hit, one out for implementation, while the other could be out for injury, and this could enhance either’s endurance to win. We will find out tomorrow just how much.