Isles halve deficit vs. Lightning with late goals

Brock Nelson scored with 3:25 left in the third period Friday night to snap a tie, and the New York Islanders beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals in Edmonton.

The second-seeded Lightning still lead the best-of-seven series two games to one. Game 4 is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

The sixth-seeded Islanders squandered a two-goal third period lead before Nelson picked off a Ryan McDonagh clearing pass to begin a sequence that ended with Nelson taking a pass from Anthony Beauvillier and firing a shot over a sliding McDonagh and past Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Cal Clutterbuck scored in the first, Adam Pelech and Beauvillier scored in the second and Jean-Gabriel Pageau added an empty-netter with 35.7 seconds left for the Islanders. Goalie Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves.

Mikhail Sergachev, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson scored for the Lightning, who had their six-game winning streak snapped. Vasilevskiy recorded 31 saves.

Clutterbuck opened the scoring by putting back the rebound of a Ryan Pulock shot with 7:02 left in the first.

Sergachev tied the game with 3:29 remaining in the opening period off a feed from Yanni Gourde, who faked a slap shot to bring Pageau to his knees. Sergachev got open in the crease and beat Varlamov with the backhand.

The Islanders scored twice in exactly two minutes in the second half of the middle period. Pelech’s shot caromed in off the far post with 8:10 left before Beauvillier squeezed a shot through Vasilevskiy’s armpit.

Palat took a pass from Nikita Kucherov and poked home a power-play goal to pull the Lightning within one at the 2:32 mark of the third. Tampa Bay tied the score with 7:56 left, when Johnson put his stick up to redirect a slapshot by Erik Cernak. The goal was upheld upon review.

Pageau was slashed by Kucherov as he scored his empty-netter and turned to fight Kucherov, which set off a brawl near the Lightning net. The Islanders’ Matt Martin and Tampa Bay’s Barclay Goodrow then fought immediately after the faceoff.

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