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Islanders lose to Round 7 and send Lightning to Stanley Cup Finals


Years later, players, coaches, and owners come and go, followed by islanders who have been waiting for the Stanley Cup Finals.

On Friday night, the Islanders won one from reaching the most spectacular stage of hockey for the first time since 1984. This is one goal of having the chance to extend the season and win the first title since winning the NHL Championship four times in a row from 1980 to 1983.

But the great power Tampa Bay Lightning, playing at home in front of a noisy crowd, was too much to overcome.

Lightning defeated Islanders 1-0 in Round 7 of the Conference Finals Playoffs Series in Tampa, Florida on Friday to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second year in a row.

Tampa Bay has a chance to play against the Montreal Canadiens and repeat as a champion. Montreal looks for the first title since 1993, when it last played in the finals. Game 1 will be on Monday night in Tampa.

The final will be a bizarre couple between a venerable franchise from hockey’s homeland and a nouveau riche crew from sunny Florida. The Canadiens is one of the most famous franchises in all sports and has won 24 league record titles up to 1916. Meanwhile, Lightning has been in the league since 1992-93. It was the season when the Canadians celebrated at the old Montreal Forum with the latest cups.

This season’s Les Habitants didn’t look like the long-lost heirs of the dynasty. The Canadians finished the regular season with 59 points, the lowest of the 16 playoff teams, but in the postseason, a dynamic combination of gritty veterans and high-flying youth like Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki. Combined.

Meanwhile, Lightning took on Andreiva Silevsky’s hot goal-ending, which marked the fourth consecutive series clinch shutout, dating back to Tampa’s victory over the Dallas Stars in last year’s final. He made 18 saves on Friday, but Tampa Bay Skater also blocked 21 shots and relentlessly fought the lascivious Islanders team.

Yanni Gourde scored a short hand goal at 1’49 in the second period. He got off the bench on a shift change and opened wide as all the islanders chased Anthony Cirelli into the corner. Sirelli took a pass, passed the glove side of Semillon Bharamov, found Gourd with the puck in the slot, and deflated the air to celebrate.

The Islanders had a chance, but couldn’t control the bouncing puck, especially when Matthew Balzal was staring at the open net later in the third period. He was one of the few islanders who held back tears after the match and said he was particularly sick of the team’s veteran players.

“In the next few years, you want to win for those people,” said 24-year-old Barzal. “It’s painful to see them in the locker room because we know how close they are.”

This loss marked the end of the era for the islanders. For most of history, they are known as residents of the Nassau Coliseum, a very noisy home arena in Uniondale, Long Island, where they are shared with enthusiastic local fans, both good and bad. I did.

But next season, the team plans to move to a shining new arena in nearby Elmont, leaving behind a concrete bunker that has played most of the home games since the launch of the franchise in 1972.

It was in that area that the Islanders won the Stanley Cup four times in a row and advanced to the final five times in a row the following year. It was a place where great players with permanent absences like Denis Potvin and Bryan Trottier had been hanging for a long time.

As the Colosseum is often called, the old barn had many seasons of defeat, as well as suspicious administrative decisions, ownership issues, and attempts to move the team. In 2015, the Islanders began home games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, far from the club’s traditional home base. However, the deal eventually failed and the team returned to Uniondale.

Then, in May 2018, the islanders hired Lou Lamoriello as president and Barry Trotz, who had just led Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup Championship, as head coach. The team is showing steady improvement.

“This group is special,” Trotz said. “Their personality, their work ethic, their will, their commitment. For me it is undeniable, it is so strong, and that is why this group believed we could do this.”

In 2019, the Islanders won one round in the playoffs and last year advanced to the conference finals, losing six games. This was also defeated by Tampa. This year, they took it one more game, but couldn’t regain the glory of the 1980s.

Aside from the unexpected, the last moment of the islanders at the Nassau Coliseum will be one of the best moments, except for the championship. Records show that Anthony Beauville scored overtime in the final match there, unleashing the wild celebration of fans throwing cans of beer, bottled water, shoes and hats on ice. I will.

It was all cleaned up immediately after the fans left forever.

The team’s dream of regaining the Stanley Cup will be pursued in the new building.

“We’re scraping it off and we’re getting closer,” Trotz said. “Hopefully we can break through.”

But on Friday, they wilted in the Lightning building.

“Our fans put it in gear,” said Tampa Bay captain Stephen Stamkos, “and it was a great atmosphere tonight.”

Vasilevskiy agreed. “It was Round 7 of the textbook,” he said.

And now Lightning aims to build at least some of what the islanders had in the 80’s.

The Canadians have a long-term pedigree, but Lightning wants to consolidate their position in the history of hockey.

Lightning coach John Cooper said: “But if you do it many times in a row for two years, your team is now special.”

Islanders lose to Round 7 and send Lightning to Stanley Cup Finals

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