Lightning extend series lead with Game 4 win over Islanders

Blake Coleman and Ondrej Palat scored the tying and go-ahead goals in a 12-second span in the second period Sunday afternoon as the Tampa Bay Lightning took a commanding lead in the Eastern Conference finals by beating the New York Islanders, 4-1, in Game 4 in Edmonton.

Brayden Point and Pat Maroon also scored for the Lightning, who lead the best-of-seven series three games to one. Tampa Bay will attempt to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2015 on Tuesday night, when Game 5 is scheduled to be played.

Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves and also had an assist.

Brock Nelson scored for the Islanders 15 seconds before Coleman tied the game. Goalie Semyon Varlamov made 32 saves.

The Islanders are trying to become the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the conference finals since the New Jersey Devils beat the Philadelphia Flyers in 2000 — when New York general manager Lou Lamoriello was New Jersey’s general manager.

A strong defensive effort by the Islanders led to the goal by Nelson that began the furious second period flurry.

Anthony Beauvillier picked the puck from Vasilevskiy as the goalie tried to corral it near the crease to start a sequence that ended with Nelson emerging with possession. Nelson skated away from the net and shook Yanni Gourde as he neared the blue line before pivoting, darting towards Vasilevskiy and firing a shot that sailed beyond his glove with 8:33 left.

Vasilevskiy and Gourde didn’t wait long to make amends.

The Islanders won the subsequent faceoff and the puck bounced to Vasilevskiy, who passed to Gourde, who fired a pass down the ice to a streaking Coleman. With Devon Toews at least a stride behind, Coleman caught up to the puck near the crease, put on the brakes and switched from his forehand to the backhand before tucking a shot around Varlamov’s leg.

The Lightning quickly took the lead following a nifty give-and-take in which Point passed to Nikita Kucherov, who already had Nelson and Adam Pelech on him. Defenseman Ryan Pulock also headed to Kucherov, who dished to a wide-open Palat, whose backhand beat Varlamov.

Point added the insurance goal 3:33 into the third, when he put back the rebound of his own shot at the doorstep. Maroon scored an empty netter with 2:24 left.