NHLN Playoff Notebook: Boyle Foils an Islanders Win, Smashville Smackdown, and A St. Louis Blue-out

Updated: May 4, 2016 at 9:35 am by Scott Maxwell

The Tampa Bay Lightning faced three deficits in game three, including one with a minute left, but managed to overcome the odds and slip ahead 5-4 in OT. The Nashville Predators looked to get on the board in the series, and did so with the help of the captain. The St. Louis Blues laid a beat down on the Dallas Stars in their home debut of the series.


It was a big night in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders wanted to take advantage of their home ice after splitting the two games in Tampa.

They started off on the right foot, as Josh Bailey got the opening goal, but a late period goal from Ryan Callahan tied the game at 1-1. Then, Hedman scored the first goal of the second period, but Nick Leddy responded shortly after to knot the game at two. However, the big story of the second period was Thomas Hickey’s hit on Jonathan Drouin. While it was clean, it kept Drouin out of the game until midway through the third.

The Islanders would take two more leads in the third, blowing both of them, including one goal from Nikita Kucherov to tie the game with 39 seconds left, and for the first time this series, we would see overtime.

We all know about the Isles success in overtime, going 3-0 before tonight, and they’ve spent more than a games worth of time in OT. The Bolts were experiencing their first of the playoffs. However, all that experience meant nothing, as Brian Boyle scored just 2:48 into the period to win the game for Tampa, and take a 2-1 series lead.

Alex Killorn led the way with a +15 Corsi rating, while Shane Prince and Brock Nelson were a -12. After finishing off the Panthers with a 94.66 5v5 Save%, Thomas Greiss has seen a bit of a drop off, stopping just 90.48% of the shots at 5v5 in the three games in this series. If his play continues like this, it’s going to be difficult for the Islanders to stay in this series.

Lightning lead series 2-1.


“You aren’t in trouble until you lose at home” was probably a phrase repeated in the Predators dressing room. While it wasn’t the case in the last series against Anaheim, the Predators were down 2-0 heading home, not up 2-0, so they needed to pick up the slack if they wanted to avoid elimination.

It wasn’t an ideal start as Patrick Marleau scored the lone goal in the first to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead, but that would be all the Sharks could get past Pekka Rinne for the rest of the game. James Neal would tie the game with his first goal since the last time the Preds were at home in game six vs. the Ducks. Shea Weber would follow up with a shot that even Brent Burns didn’t want to get in the way.

Colin Wilson and Filip Forsberg would add to the lead to give the Preds the 4-1 win, and they’re back in the series. It was a close possession game, with San Jose having a slight edge with 51.35%. Even for the players, the best was Brendan Dillion’s +6, and the worst was Brent Burns -8.

Sharks lead series 2-1.


Luckily for the Sharks, they didn’t have the worst night in the NHL, as the Blues had a 6-1 shellacking of the Dallas Stars in game three, in front of the one and only Anthony, no less.

Believe it or not, the Dallas Stars were the team that started the scoring, as Colton Sceviour gave the Stars a 1-0 lead in the first, but that would be the last we would see of it, as just 53 seconds later Alex Steen tied the game at 1-1. David Backes would give the Blues a 2-1 lead before the end of the period, but it wouldn’t be until the second period when the Blues started the slaughter. Troy Brouwer and Vladimir Tarasenko added to the lead, while Steen and Backes both scored their second goals to give them the final score of 6-1.

It was a night to pad the stats, as four Blues had at least two points. Steen and Backes both scored two goals, while Brouwer had a goal and an assist. But, Tarasenko stole the show with his one goal and two assists. Patrick Sharp and Tarasenko led the way in 5v5 Corsi +/- with a +10, while Berglund was a game worst -11. Interestingly enough, despite being tied for the best Corsi +/-, Patrick Sharp was a -2, which goes to show the lack of value in +/-.

Dallas’ goaltending continues to be the problem in the playoffs, as they gave up a six spot tonight. Both goalies had some responsibility, allowing three goals each, although Lehtonen stopped 15 more shots. Brian Elliott continues to look tough to beat at the other end, so Dallas really needs to solve this problem if they plan on advancing.


3. Pekka Rinne

Rinne stopped 26 of 27 shots, backstopping his team to a 4-1 victory.

2. David Backes/Alex Steen

It’s tough to pick between both of them, so I’ll call it a tie since both scored two goals, including each getting one early in the game when the score was close.

1. Victor Hedman

Hedman led his team to a 5-4 OT victory, with a goal and two assists from the back end, with the assists being for the tying and winning goal.