New York Islanders Defeat Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 in Game 1 of the Second Round
The New York Islanders held off a late charge and posted a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference second-round series Wednesday night at Amalie Arena. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday at 3 p.m.
On the day Lightning goalie, Ben Bishop, was named one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, he gave up four goals on 13 shots and was pulled at 8:59 of the second period and replaced with backup Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Taking up where he left off in helping the Islanders advance beyond the first round for the first time in 23 years, Tavares, the team’s captain, assisted on a Travis Hamonic goal to erase an early deficit. Tavares also scored his sixth goal of the postseason on a blistering shot from the left circle that gave the Islanders a 4-1 lead midway through the second period.
The Islanders needed overtime to take three of their four victories over the Florida Panthers in the opening round. This one, though, was never seriously in doubt after the Islanders wiped out the 1-0 lead that Tampa Bay took on an Ondrej Palat goal just over three minutes into the game.
The Islanders’ addition of Prince from the Ottawa Senators for a third-round draft pick is one that did not get much attention at the 2016 NHL trade deadline. It has already paid off in a big way for them in the playoffs.
After leading Ottawa’s AHL team in scoring during the 2014-15 season, he ended up earning a roster spot with the club this season, but never really seemed to get much of a chance with the team, averaging just 10 minutes of ice-time per night. Still only 23 years old, the Islanders picked him up for the bargain basement price of a mid-round draft pick and he has already scored three goals for them this postseason.
In round one, he started their second-period rally in their Game 3 win with a goal and then added two more on Wednesday late in the first period.
What’s Next for the Islanders?
The Islanders will expect the Lightning to respond in Game 2 on Saturday in hopes of a split on home ice before the series shifts to Barclays Center in Brooklyn for Games 3 and 4. The Islanders’ mantra coming into this series was they deserve to be here, and they played with that mentality in Game 1.
Drawing first blood gives the Islanders confidence and momentum, knowing they can beat the Lightning and Bishop.
(New York Islanders Defeat Tampa Bay Lightning)