Ryan Pulock epic Islanders stop is all-time playoff moment

Bob Nystrom scored in time beyond regulation on the Coliseum and so did Ken Morrow. Mike Bossy as soon as struck twice late within the third interval to get his 50-in-50. Bryan Trottier had a five-goal night time. There was Double Chili. John Tonelli scored late in a Game 5 in opposition to the Penguins after which once more in time beyond regulation to put it aside all. The Dynasty did victory laps at Nassau Coliseum in three of their 4 Stanley Cup victories.

But there had by no means been something like this on the Old Barn.

I’d enterprise to say there has by no means been something like this, anyplace.

Hockey, women and gents.

Playoff hockey.

There had been seconds remaining in Saturday’s pulsating Game 4 of the Stanley Cup semifinals. The Islanders had been desperately trying to protect a 3-2 lead over the Lightning, the groups had been five-on-five with Tampa Bay’s goaltender pulled whereas shorthanded, killing a penalty.

The recreation had been frantic from the beginning, the Islanders scoring thrice inside a second-period span of 12:27 to take a 3-0 lead, the Lightning scoring twice inside the first 6:43 of the third, and there we had been.

The Islanders performed keepaway on their energy play, going right into a four-corners stop offense. Finally, the puck got here out. Finally, the puck was deep within the Islanders zone. Finally, Nikita Kucherov discovered Ryan McDonagh on their lonesome within the left circle.

Ryan Pulock
Ryan Pulock make a game-saving stop within the Islanders’ Game 4 win on Saturday.
Getty Images

There had been about 4 seconds to go.

Brock Nelson took a determined lunge at McDonagh, who is having himself an excellent, throwback collection as if it had been 2014 and he had been carrying Rangers Blue. McDonagh pulled a Denis Savard, eluding Nelson with a spin-o-rama. Netminder Semyon Varlamov charged out. The internet was empty behind him.

McDonagh despatched a backhander towards that vacant internet. There was a few second left. Time stood nonetheless. The deafening roar of the group crawled into each spectator’s throat and was swallowed up in fearful anticipation. The recreation was about to be tied. The recreation was about to enter time beyond regulation.

And then … after which … the sport was over.

The recreation was over as a result of Ryan Pulock, materializing out of nowhere like a superhero, someway got here throughout the crease and obtained his proper glove on the puck earlier than it may cross the aim line after which managed to swat it apart the place it harmlessly spun. The Islanders pounded and surrounded No. 6 with glee and celebrated as if there have been no tomorrow.

But after all, there are at the very least two extra tomorrows coming for the Islanders, now 2-2 within the collection with Game 5 set for Monday night time in Tampa. And there is at the very least yet one more tomorrow for the Old Barn, which is able to host Game 6 on Wednesday.

History assembly the current. History changing into historical past of its personal.

“I think everybody’s breath was kind of taken away when that puck was coming,” mentioned Mathew Barzal, who had scored the 2-0 aim and was watching from the bench. “I thought they … I thought it was going in and then just a miraculous play by Poolie, so I’m not going to be forgetting that one.”

A Miracle on Ice.

“McDonagh made a heck of a play with the spin-o-rama, the net was open and I just tried to make myself big and take it away and I was able to [make the play],” Pulock mentioned. “You hear the sound of the clock going and the boys jump on you. It’s a good feeling.”

Understatement, anybody?

“It’s playoffs. Nothing should surprise anybody, really,” mentioned head coach Barry Trotz, whose Islanders performed with verve, confidence and to their Identity in constructing the 3-0 lead after which settled again in after the Lightning closed to 3-2. “That’s the wonderful thing about our recreation.

“We can bring you out of your seats right ’til the last minute. What a save by Poolie. That will be remembered.”

Trotz, who stands 5-foot-9, couldn’t see the insanity to his proper that was unfolding. So the coach seemed up on the scoreboard video display screen.

“Everyone was standing up and I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’m not that tall,” he mentioned. “I attempted to take a peek up on the scoreboard actual fast and all I noticed was Nellie sliding, McDonagh turned, Varly got here out to problem and it seemed prefer it was going within the internet.

“Then obviously Poolie came through and slid across and saved the day for us.”

The coach then made a bit joke.

“I would never it was never in doubt,” he mentioned.

The remaining moment overshadowed what had been a incredible recreation. This had tempo. This had tempo. This would have been a basic befitting the Barn and its heritage, regardless.

But then got here the ultimate second. Then got here historical past. More historical past on the Coliseum.

I’ve by no means seen something prefer it.

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