The New York Islanders had plenty go wrong for them during Monday’s 8-0 blowout loss in Game 5 at the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Now, they’re facing the possibility of disciplinary action against star forward Mathew Barzal after he was ejected for cross-checking Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta.
The score was 6-0 Lightning in the closing seconds of the second period when Rutta and Barzal exchanged words.
Barzal hit him in the chest with his stick and then in the face, causing the defenseman to fall to the ice. The trainer came out to check on him and Rutta eventually skated off on his own, but did not come out for the third period.
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On-ice officials called a major penalty and an ejection, and the call was upheld after a review.
It’s possible that Barzal will only be fined $5,000 for his infraction, but if he has to sit out a game, it would be a big blow to an Islanders team trying to stay alive at home in Game 6 on Wednesday. After being shut out in the first eight playoff games, Barzal has six goals in the last nine games.
The game was uncharacteristic for the Islanders, who have played solid defense throughout the playoffs to reach the third round for the second year in a row.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos scored 45 seconds in for his first goal of the series, and Tampa Bay piled on, with goals by Yanni Gourde and Alex Killorn leading Islanders coach Barry Trotz to pull goalie Semyon Varlamov.
Backup goalie Ilya Sorokin took a puck to the throat and stayed in the game, but the Lightning solved him, too, scoring three times in the second period. Stamkos and Killorn added their second goals of the game.
Brayden Point made it 7-0 in the third period on the Barzal major penalty to extend his goal-scoring streak to eight games.
The eight goals were the most allowed by the Islanders since an 8-2 loss to the Lightning in Game 1 of the 2020 Eastern Conference final.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Islanders’ Mathew Barzal ejected for cross-checking Jan Rutta