The season is over for the Islanders, whose playoff run ended in Game 5 in Tampa after an ugly 4-0 loss Sunday afternoon.
The series seemed to slip away more and more as the five games progressed, winding down with a whimper and shutout loss.
A late first-period snipe fromVictor Hedman, twirlingaround 180-degrees to fire fromthe slot put the Lightning ahead early.
A few minutes later, Tampa piled on and took a commanding lead when Brian Boyle beat Thomas Griess(from Matt Carle and Cedric Paquette) to make things 2-0.
In the second, another nail was hammered into New York’s coffin, a second strike from Hedman (assisted by Jonathan Drouin and Tyler Johnson). The goal came on the man advantage and took much wind from the Islanders’ sails as they clinged to life with just 20 minutes left in their season.
It seemed like every time New York beat the Lightning’s defense, Ben Bishop– who had 27 saves, many of them spectacular, had an answer. Griesshad 21 saves on 25 shots.
After scoring a power play goal in each of the series’ first four games, the Islanders failed to net a goal on the man advantage despite four chances Sunday.
In the third, with their fate nearly sealed aNikita Kucherovgoal all but ended New York’s season.
It was a campaign that saw them win a playoff series for the first time in the lifetime of many young Islanders fans, but one that many will conclude ended a bit too early after winning Game 1 and folding in a pair of bitter overtime setbacks.
The Lightning will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and will face either the Penguins or Capitals (who play in Game 6 Tuesday night at 8).