Islanders take game three, snap Lightning's six game win streak

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Brock Nelson scored the eventual game winner as the New York Islanders avoided falling into a huge hole in their Eastern Conference final series by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 on Friday in Edmonton.

American forward Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier both had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who cut the Lightning's lead in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup playoff series to 2-1.

"This is a big win for us after being down 2-0 in the series," said Canada's Beauvillier. "We need to play the Islanders' way, be relentless, physical and work hard at both ends of the ice."

Game four is Sunday in Edmonton.

Nelson scored the tie-breaking goal with 3:25 left in the third period as New York squandered a 3-1 lead but managed to pull out the victory with two late goals.

Nelson picked off a Ryan McDonagh clearing pass to begin a play that ended with Nelson taking a pass from Beauvillier and firing a shot past Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau capped the scoring by wristing a shot into an empty net with just 36 seconds remaining despite being hounded by Tampa's Nikita Kucherov.

Pageau was poked and prodded as he drove the empty net and then slashed by Kucherov as he scored. He turned to fight Kucherov, which set off a skirmish near the Lightning net involving all the skaters for both teams.

The Islanders' Matt Martin and Tampa Bay's Barclay Goodrow then fought immediately after the faceoff with Martin getting the upper hand.

Cal Clutterbuck and Adam Pelech also scored and goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped 34 shots for the Islanders in the NHL's quarantine bubble.

Mikhail Sergachev, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson scored for the Lightning, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.

Tampa is trying to reach their first Stanley Cup final since 2015.

New York bounced back from a heartbreaking loss in game two when Russian forward Kucherov scored the tiebreaking goal with eight seconds left to give the Lightning a 2-1 victory.

Tampa had to play without right winger Alex Killorn, who was suspended for an illegal hit that sent Nelson crashing into the boards in game two. Tampa Bay was also missing its leading playoff scorer, centre Brayden Point, who has an undisclosed injury.