What a finish.
Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock slid over and blocked a spin-a-rama backhand shot by Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh with less than three seconds remaining to secure a 3-2 victory for New York in Game Four of this best-of-seven Stanley Cup Semifinals matchup.
The series is now tied 2-2.
Tampa Bay were down 3-0 to start the 3rd period, but stormed back to climb within one.
But that was all they could muster, as Pulock's block sealed their fate and brought the Nassau Coliseum faithful to their feet in jubilation.
Even though the Bolts outshot the Isles 11-4 in the opening period, it was New York who had the better chances with both Kyle Palmieri & Mathew Barzal hitting the post.
The Lightning were awarded the first power play of the evening after a late hit on Kucherov by New York's Cal Clutterbuck, but it was the Islanders who had the best chance on the man-advantage.
New York winger Leo Komarov picked up a loose puck and came down all alone on a breakaway but Vasilevskiy stood tall and made the pad save to keep the game scoreless.
The Islanders eventually got on the board in the 2nd period when Josh Bailey beat Vasilevskiy over the glove at 5:30 to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
New York made it 2-0 when Barzal found a rebound of a Kyle Palmieri shot and fired it into the open net at 13:46.
The Islanders were all over the Lightning in the middle frame and Tampa Bay just could not slow them down.
Matt Martin backhanded a shot past Vasilevskiy with just over two minutes remaining in the period to make it 3-0.
Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper tried to challenge that the initial entry into the zone was offside, but the replay showed otherwise. The Lightning were assessed a delay of game penalty -- which they killed off -- and it was all Islanders heading into the second intermission.
And then the 3rd period happened.
Brayden Point fired a snapshot past Varlamov at the 3:45 mark to make it 3-1 and give Tampa Bay some life. That was Point's 7th straight game with a goal and 12th this postseason.
Tyler Johnson cut the lead to 3-2 when he rifled a shot over the glove of the Islanders netminder just under three minutes later, which prompted New York head coach Barry Trotz to call his timeout.
- New York - Bailey - (Nelson, Beauvillier) - 5:30
- New York - Barzal - (Palmieri, Clutterbuck) - 13:46
- New York - Martin - (Clutterbuck, Pelech) - 17:57
- Tampa Bay - Point - (Palat, Cernak) - 3:45
- Tampa Bay - Johnson - (Kucherov) - 6:43
- New York - Clutterbuck - (Roughing) - 12:34
- Tampa Bay - Sergachev - (Cross Checking) - 13:46
- New York - Palmieri - (Roughing) - 13:46
- Tampa Bay - Cernak - (Boarding) - 14:32
- Tampa Bay - TEAM - (Delay of Game) - 17:57
- Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Tripping) - 18:48
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning and Islanders are back at it again on Monday night in Tampa at Amalie Arena for Game 5. Puck drop is slated for 8:00pm with the pregame show starting at 7:00pm on NewsRadio WFLA.
PHOTO : Getty Images