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Islanders eliminated from playoffs Game 7 of semi-finals

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 25: Mathew Barzal #13, Ryan Pulock #6 and Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders react after their team's 1-0 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Semifinals during the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Amalie Arena on June 25, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 25: Mathew Barzal #13, Ryan Pulock #6 and Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders react after their team's 1-0 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Semifinals during the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Amalie Arena on June 25, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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After 60 minutes the New York Islanders lost Game 7 to a short-handed goal. Something the Islanders hadn’t allowed all season long. They were the only team in the NHL to not allow a short-handed goal. And it was their undoing tonight.

The ride is over. The New York Islanders go home after falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning yet again.

I know you’re gutted. I’m gutted. But the Islanders played a good series, just not a good Game 7.

New York Islanders drop Game 7 1-0 to Tampa Bay Lightning

The series was well fought but this game wasn’t really. The Isles weren’t the better team on the ice tonight. The Lightning ran the show most of the night. If not for Semyon Varlamov stopping a ton of rubber this game is a blowout, again.

I can’t help but think back to that 8-0 game. You can’t give a team a free game in the playoffs and expect to win a series.

Tonight, the Isles were subpar yet again.

  • 46.43 CF%
  • 46.81 SCF%
  • 33.33 HDCF%
  • 39.53 xGF%

(Stats from NaturalStatTrick)

That’s back-to-back games on the road where the Islanders offense fails to show up. To be fair, the Tampa Bay Lightning did a hell of a job blocking shooting lanes and getting sticks on pucks. You hear “active sticks” as a way to win games and maybe you wonder what that means. Today is what that means. It was a clinic in getting sticks in lanes and preventing chances.

I really want to go back to Semyon Varlamov.  He finished the night with a 0.968SV% stopping ten of the eleven high-danger attempts he faced on the night. If not for Varly this game goes another way.

Losing is disappointing, but if there’s a silver lining to this, the Isles moved one step closer than they did last year. And they did it without Anders Lee. Say what you will about the acquisition of Kyle Palmieri as his “replacement” but Palmieri never truly got top-line minutes and wasn’t stapled to Barzal’s wing like the captain.

Progress has been made. Now it’s to build on this years’ result and get to the Stanley Cup Finals next year.

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