Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock scored the goals, and Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves to backstop the New York Islanders to a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Semifinals at Amalie Arena.
Barzal, who has four goals in the last five games, gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 12:32 of the second period. Josh Bailey intercepted a pass from Steven Stamkos at the Lightning blue line and sent a stretch pass to Barzal, who put the puck between Andrei Vasilevskiy’s pads.
Pulock beat Vasilevskiy with a stoppable slap shot at 5:36 of the third to put the visitors up by two.
Brayden Point scored with 54 seconds remaining in regulation to end Varlamov’s shutout bid with a 6-on-4 goal after Islanders forward Brock Nelson was called for high-sticking Nikita Kucherov and Vasilevskiy pulled for the extra attacker.
The Islanders executed their game plan to a tee, while the Lightning looked a bit out of sync. Expect a better game from the defending champs on Tuesday night.
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