Pulock makes clutch save as Islanders level series with Tampa 2-2

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·1 min read
New York defenceman Ryan Pulock, 6, blocks a shot by Ryan McDonagh of the Tampa Bay Lightning to preserve the Islanders 3-2 win in game four of their NHL semi-final series
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Defenceman Ryan Pulock made a desperation save in the dying seconds with the net empty as the New York Islanders held on to beat Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Saturday in game four of their NHL playoff semi-final series.

The Lightning almost tied the game at the final buzzer as Ryan McDonagh fooled everyone on the ice but Pulock.

McDonagh sidestepped goalie Semyon Varlamov and delivered a spinning backhand that appeared to be heading into the open cage.

But Pulock slid on one knee across the middle of the crease and blocked the shot, sparking wild celebrations and allowing New York to level the series against the defending Stanley Cup champions at 2-2 in front of a home crowd of 12,900 at Nassau Coliseum.

Asked by reporters if he ever played goalie, the 26-year-old Canadian said, "Maybe street hockey. That's about it."

Game five is scheduled for Monday in Tampa, Florida.

Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal and Matt Martin all scored in the second period for the Islanders, who survived a third-period rally by the Lightning.

Varlamov made 28 saves for the Islanders, who seemed to get some spark after head coach Barry Trotz juggled the roster and inserted some fresh legs.

The move worked as New York scored three goals after scoring just four in their previous two games.

Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson scored in the third period for the Lightning. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 shots.

It remains to be seen just how big a setback this is for the Lightning, who had been getting progressively better with wins in game two and three after losing the series opener 2-1 at home.

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