On the sixth match of the series “Tampa” quite unexpectedly came out with Braden Point as part of. The forward was injured during the confrontation with the Islanders and, obviously, did not fully recover, but his presence helped Lightning regain shaken confidence. Until the sixth match, Point and Nikita Kucherov shared the status of the team’s top scorer, but in this meeting the Russian managed to take the lead.
Despite the rather closed nature of the game, the beginning turned out to be very cheerful. In the fifth minute of the match, the Islanders opened the scoring when the defender Devon Toews went around the Tampa goal and put the puck into the empty corner of Andrei Vasilevsky’s goal.
Already two minutes later, “Tampa” recouped due to the successful actions of Victor Hedman , who was the first to finish and scored his ninth goal in the current playoffs. The Swedish giant has scored in four out of six matches in the East Finals, confirming his status as Defense Leader for the Lightning, and has once again exceeded 30 minutes.
After that, there was a long scoring lull. Both teams tried to play very carefully and strictly in defense, not allowing deletions, but the islanders again made an unexpected gift to the opponent. As in the fifth match, the Islanders player received a double minor penalty for playing with a high stick before the end of regular time: if in the previous meeting the penalty was on Mikhail Sergachev , this time Kucherov got it.
“Tampa” again did not convert this majority, but in the middle of overtime put the squeeze on the opponents. Goal Anthony Cirelli turned out to be somewhat curious – the puck ricocheted into the goal from the leg of the goalkeeper of the “islanders” Semyon Varlamov , who did not even understand what had happened. But it was this goal that brought the Lightning to their third Stanley Cup final in club history.
Nikita Kucherov took part in the first goal with an assist, and this scored point made him one of the top scorers in the playoffs. The Russian now has 26 points (6 goals, 20 assists) in 19 games, one point more than Colorado’s Point and Nathan McKinnon.
In the final “Tampa” will play with “Dallas”, the first match of the series will take place on the night of September 19-20, Moscow time. Six Russian hockey players will take part in the series: Nikita Kucherov, Mikhail Sergachev and Andrei Vasilevsky as part of “Lightning”, and Alexander Radulov, Denis Guryanov and Anton Khudobin – as part of “Dallas”.