Tampa Bay, New York get playoff wins Saturday

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We had two more playoff games on tap for Saturday, and neither went to overtime or were decided by one goal. But that certainly doesn't mean they weren't exciting. In fact, we had six combined goals in the first two games of the Tampa Bay-Carolina series. In the second period of Game 4, we had eight total goals. In the madhouse otherwise known as the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the game was a lot closer than the scoreboard indicated. It was a nail biter with plenty of things done on the ice to win which aren't necessarily found in the scoreboard. The Islanders were rewarded for their hard work, and this series has the look of one going the distance. Let's get started!

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Tampa Bay Lightning 6, Carolina Hurricanes 4

The Lightning picked up a goal from Brayden Point at 14:24 of the first period, making it 1-0, as they looked to take a 3-1 series lead. That was the only score heading into the room for intermission. Then, things got crazy.

Whatever head coach Rod Brind'Amour said to the Hurricanes in the locker room between periods worked, at least for the first 13 minutes of the second period. Teuvo Teravainen and Jesper Fast scored 39 seconds apart to give Carolina a 2-1 lead after 5:09.

Steven Stamkos reeled the Canes back in, delivering a power-play goal at 9:54 of the second with helpers to Point and Alex Killorn, tying the game 2-2. But Dougie Hamilton restored the Hurricanes lead at 10:35, just 41 seconds after Stamkos' goal on the man advantage, splashing cold water on what was a red-hot crowd after the game-tying goal. Jaccob Slavin kept the fans nailed to their seats with helpers to Steven Lorentz and former Lightning forward Cedric Paquette.

At 14:11 of the second, Jake Bean was whistled for holding, and Nikita Kucherov took advantage. He smoked one past Petr Mrazek to slice the lead in half to 4-3. Tyler Johnson notched his first of the postseason at 17:10, as Ross Colton and Pat Maroon got on the board with apples, and it was all square at 4-4 yet again.

It got worse for the visitors. Andrei Svechnikov was sent off for roughing Yanni Gourde, and Stamkos was back again with a power-play goal, as Kucherov and Anthony Cirelli helped out. The Lightning took a one-goal lead to intermission for the second straight period, and Carolina had to be scratching their heads. They finally figured out how to roll up plenty of goals against Andrei Vasilevskiy, but they were still behind.

Kucherov scored his fifth of the season, giving him two goals and three points in this one, and 17 total points in 10 playoff games to lead all players. Four of the goals, and 12 of the points, have come on the power play.

After Mrazek allowed six goals on 26 shots, it's likely rookie Alex Nedeljkovic gets the nod in Game 5 back in PNC Arena in Raleigh.

New York Islanders 4, Boston Bruins 1

The Islanders headed into Game 4 down 2-1 in the series, desperate to level things before heading to Game 5 in Boston for a pivotal game which will push one team or the other to the brink.

Mission accomplished.

Things started off a little on the slow side, at least offensively Tuukka Rask and Semyon Varlamov was exchanging donuts in the first 20 minutes, and it looked like we might have another defensive game like the ones we saw on Friday. Rask made seven saves, with Varlamov turning aside all 11 of the shots he faced in the period.

The first period wasn't without excitement, however, as Scott Mayfield and Taylor Hall dropped the gloves at 7:28, before Matt Martin and Jarred Tinordi scrapped at 9:23 following a high-stick call to Mathew Barzal against Curtis Lazar.

In the second period, Matt Martin was called for a holding call. That set the B's up on the power play, and David Krejic delivered, making it 1-0. It would be the only lead the Bruins would enjoy all day.

Kyle Palmieri, acquired in a deal from the New Jersey Devils at the NHL trade deadline, squared things up 1-1 less than three minutes later. It was his fifth goal of the postseason.

Barzal hasn't been as hot in the scoring department, but he might be turning a corner. He scored in Game 3, and he was credited with the game-winning goal at 13:03 of the third period with helpers to Noah Dobson and Mayfield. It was Barzal's second career game-winning goal in the postseason, and he also added an assist.

The Game 3 hero, Casey Cizikas, potted an empty-net insurance goal, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau added one to put a bow on the scoring.