Jacksonville Sports Day

Islanders Chase Bishop for Opening Game Win, 5-3

TAMPA – The Lightning struck early but the visiting New York Islanders took Game One in Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs 5-3 on Wednesday night at Amalie Arena. New York scored four unanswered goals on their first 13 shots, chasing Vezina Trophy nominee Ben Bishop from the net.

Ondrej Palat opened the scoring on Tampa Bay’s first shot. Palat scored his second goal of the 2016 playoffs and 12th career postseason goal.

“We started turning pucks over in the neutral zone. We started getting a little too cute I think, and when we did we didn’t compete to get the puck back necessarily as hard as we are accustomed to. Those are big no-no’s this time of year,” said Lightning center Brian Boyle.

The Islanders’ Travis Hamonic beat Bishop at 5:44 for the tie. New York’ s Prince scored twice in the last 2:32 of the opening period. Tampa Bay allowed a first-period goal for the first time this postseason

The Islanders opened up a three-goal lead in the second period, as John Tavares scored on a power play, beating Bishop from the top of the circle at 8:59. That was all for Bishop.

Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov scored his sixth goal of the playoffs at 7:41 to make it 4-2. Kucherov scored his team-best sixth goal of the playoffs. Kucherov is tied with Tavares for the NHL playoff goal lead.

Valtteri Filppula made it a one-goal game with 2:32 to play Filppula registered his first point of the 2016 playoffs and 24th career postseason goal.
That was as close as the Lightning came, as Cal Clutterbuck iced the contest with an empty-netter at 19:05.

While Bishop had an off night for the Lightning, New York’s Thomas Greiss stopped 33-of-36 shots, his fifth 30+ save performance in seven playoff games. Bolts backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy came on for Bishop midway through the second period and made saves on all eight shots he faced in relief.

“Obviously not the start we want, but at the same time we have been in this situation before. We know we have to bounce back from this. Obviously the first two periods are something we have to clean up. In the third you know we played a lot better,” said Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. “We had opportunities and chances to tie it up, but we put ourselves into a big hole tonight and going into the third like that it is tough to get back from, but we almost got there.”

GAME NOTES: The Lightning penalty kill, which entered Game 1 tops in the NHL playoffs at 96 percent, gave up a power-play goal for just the second time this postseason. The Bolts’ PK is now 27-of-29 (93.1%) in the 2016 playoffs. Lightning forward Erik Condra left the game early in the first period after absorbing a big hit from Casey Cizikas and crashing into the end boards… NY coach Jack Capuano took a puck to the nose in the third period, went off for stitches, but returned in the final minutes… The Lightning fall to 38-4-3 this season (regular season and postseason) when scoring three or more goals…Amalie Arena was sold out for the 61st-consecutive game dating back to last season (includes playoffs). The Lightning sold out all 41 home games in 2015-16.

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