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Lightning captures wild playoff game against Islanders, 5-4

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Comebacks. Overtime. Players returning from injury.

Seventy-two saves. Seventy-eight hits. Pulled goalies that result in goals.

Blown leads. Furious rallies. Hits that will be argued about for days.

Yeah, this hockey game had it all. The Tampa Bay Lightning, somehow, came from behind to beat the New York Islanders, 5-4, in a game that felt a lot like a series highlight reel. The Lightning now leads the best-of-seven series two games to one.

The Lightning trailed with 38 seconds to go, but Jonathan Druin – shelved by an injury earlier in the game – found Nikita Kucherov for the winning goal. Goalie Ben Bishop had been pulled at the time.

Then, 2:38 into overtime, Brian Boyle scored the game-winner to give the Lightning its lead.

New York coach Jack Capuono repeated several times that he thought Boyle was guilty of a blow to Thomas Hickey’s head before his winning goal. “We should have been on a power play,” said Capuono. Boyle took a missed shot by Victor Hedman bounding off the backboard.

Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper disagreed. “What were there? Seventy hits? Eighty? There were 15 that were bigger than that hit.”

The Lightning trailed much of the night, falling behind 1-0, 3-2 and 4-3 before coming from behind.

For the Bolts, Kucherov now has eight goals in the post-season. Drouin has eight points, seven of them on assists.

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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