All good things must come to an end, but the New York Islanders finished by giving their fans what has not been seen for a very long time.
Entering Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the New York Islanders were looking to capture their 2nd-straight win of the series and force Game 7 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, attempting to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1984 after they achieved reaching the conference finals for the first time since 1993.
After Devon Toews (2) of the Islanders and Victor Hedman (9) of the Lightning shared a goal midway through the first period, there were no goals scored between the second and third period as overtime appeared between both teams at Rogers Place once more, and again, the Lightning entered overtime with a power-play opportunity brought to them after Andy Greene was called for a high-sticking penalty that Anthony Beauvillier was called for in Game 5.
The Islanders once again played a huge penalty kill to start overtime and milked the 4-minute power-play, including a huge opportunity from Brock Nelson when he attempted a shorthanded shot on goal that would’ve given the Islanders a huge Game 6 OT victory, but the Islanders managed to allow no goals in the 4 power plays they faced during the game.
Both goaltenders for New York and Tampa Bay put on a big show with many huge saves to keep the game rolling for more than 60 minutes, with Varlamov saving 46 of the 48 shots on goal, while the Islanders had significantly less shots on goal with 27, as Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 26 of them. Eventually, Anthony Cirelli snuck a goal past Varlamov with momentum from his left pad putting the puck into the net to end the series, once again giving the Lightning a series-clinching OT win.
With the win, Tampa Bay moves on the Stanley Cup Finals and wins the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in franchise history, as they begin the final series of the postseason in Edmonton on Saturday night at 8 pm against the Dallas Stars, who defeated the top-seeded Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals to take the Western Conference title for the third time in franchise history as well.
The Islanders season comes to an end after the second season of Barry Trotz as head coach and Lou Lamoriello gave the Islanders their second-straight playoff appearance and allowed them to defeat the Florida Panthers in the qualifying round 3-1, the Washington Capitals in the first round 4-1, and the top-seeded Philadelphia Flyers in the second round in 7 games.