Boyle's OT goal lifts Lightning past Islanders

Wed May 4, 2016 12:13am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper and New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano were in agreement on one thing Tuesday night: Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals at Barclays Center was as entertaining as playoff ice hockey gets.

As for how it ended, well, they will likely disagree on that for the rest of the series and beyond.

Lightning center Brian Boyle leveled Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey at the blue line seconds before he scored the game-winning goal 2:48 into overtime as Tampa Bay edged New York 5-4 to take a 2-1 series lead.

Game 4 is scheduled for Friday in Brooklyn.

"I think if you watched tonight, (you'd) be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining hockey game," Cooper said. "It had everything. It had goals. It had saves. It had hits. It had overtime. It had all the drama."

Boyle and Hickey were at the center of the drama -- which included last-second game-tying goals by the Lightning at the end of the first and third periods -- long before the final sequencet.

Boyle exchanged shoves with Islanders defenseman Travis Harmonic during warm-ups after Boyle sauntered over the New York logo at center ice.

Early in the second period, Hickey knocked down Lightning left winger Jonathan Drouin with a hard and high hit. Seconds later, three penalties were assessed after the teams skirmished in front of the Islanders net.

Replays of the sequence leading to the game-winning goal appeared to show the 6-foot-7 Boyle lift his elbow before hitting Hickey, who is listed at 6 feet.   Continued...

Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates after goal by Tampa Bay Lightning center Brian Boyle (11) in overtime in game three of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports