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Lightning beats Islanders again for 3-1 lead in playoff series

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The Tampa Bay Lightning is one game away from returning to the NHL’s Conference Finals.

The Lightning won its second consecutive overtime victory in Brooklyn, beating the New York Islanders 2-1 in overtime. The Bolts lead 3-1 and can close the series out on Sunday at Amalie Arena.

Once again, Tampa Bay started slowly, being outplayed in the first period and outshot. They fell behind 1-0 on a goal by Kyle Okposo. That lead held until the third period, when – who else? – Nikita Kucherov tied the game on a one-timer 7:49 into the third period.

It was Kucherov’s eighth goal of the playoffs, which leads the NHL.

“He’s proving he’s not a one-hit wonder,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “He continues to amaze.”

Ben Bishop had his moments, too, stopping 27 of 28 shots.

The Lightning took the win on a deep shot by Jason Garrison only 1:34 into overtime.

“He’s got a bomb,” said Cooper.

Cooper was asked what his team needed to do in its next game. “We need to realize it starts at 7 instead of 8,” said Cooper, unaware the game actually starts at 3. Still, he has a point about the Bolts getting off to a slow start.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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