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All of the numbers work in the Lightning’s favor.
They lead the Stanley Cup semifinal series against the Islanders three games to two entering Game 6 tonight at Nassau Coliseum. They are 7-2 all-time in a best-of-seven playoff series when holding a 3-2 lead, clinching in six games on five of those occasions.
Conversely, the Islanders are 3-9 in postseason series when trailing 3-2.
Look deeper into the stats themselves, and there’s more to like. The Lightning outrank the Islanders in every meaningful statistical category, except faceoff percentage.
They have scored the past 10 goals of the series going back to the third period of Game 4. They have outshot the Islanders 217-151. They hold a 5-1 advantage in first-period goals in a series in which the team that scored first has won every game (two games were scoreless in the first period).
Obviously, the Islanders aren’t going to hand them anything, facing elimination in what could be the final game ever played at Nassau Coliseum. And they’re still sore about getting knocked out by the Lightning in the same round a year ago.
But you’ve got to like the trend lines. If they continue to hold, the Lightning will clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup final for the second consecutive season either tonight in Uniondale, N.Y., or Friday in Tampa at the latest.
Will it be tonight? Follow our live updates, starting at 8 p.m., and we’ll find out together.
Setting the scene
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