Lightning strike in Game 1

The second day of the Stanley Cup playoffs were played on Sunday, and don’t forget about that all-important regular season game between Vancouver and Calgary.

Let’s get to the action!

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NEW YORK ISLANDERS 4 PITTSBURGH 3 (OT) (Islander lead the best-of-seven series 1-0)

The trade made by Lou Lamoriello to get Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac, certainly did not look good in the 17 games played by the duo as Palmieri found the back of the net only twice while Zajac had only a goal and an assist in 13 games.

It seemed to be worse heading into Game 1 as Zajac was a healthy scratch, but Palmieri took care of everything as he scored the opening goal of the series and the overtime game winner as the Islanders surprised the Penguins with a 4-3 overtime win.

Palmieri’s winner was off a nice feed from Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who had a goal and set up both of Palmieri’s markers. Palmieri found the slightest of holes over the shoulder of Tristan Jarry in the Pittsburgh cage as he put it up high and just under the crossbar.

It was a goal-scorer’s goal and it made the GM look awfully good.

After Palmieri opened the scoring, the Penguins struck twice to take the lead as Frederick Gaudreau tied it in the first and Sidney Crosby scored the only goal of the second as he tipped in a shot from the point by Brian Dumoulin.

Pageau potted his goal just 3:33 into the third as he whipped a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle over the shoulder of Ilya Sorokin and into the top corner of the net.The Isles thought they had the winner when Brock Nelson used Kris Letang as a screen and put it through his legs and past Jarry to make it 3-2 New York.

But just 31 seconds later, Kasperi Kapanen, who was acquired from Toronto in the off-season, evened the score, sending it into overtime as he pinged it in off the goal post on the far side of Sorokin to send the game into overtime.

Story continues

It was a bit of a surprise when the Islanders named Sorokin as their starter Sunday afternoon as Semyon Varlamov was unable to go, even as the backup. Sorokin picked up the win, making 39 saves.

Jarry got the start in goal for Pittsburgh, giving up four goals on 41 shots.

It was a hard-hitting game as the Islanders outhit Pittsburgh 72-47.

Leo Komarov was credited with 14 hits while Matt Martin and Brandov Tanev had nine apiece.

Crosby led all skaters with five shots on goal.

John Marino was a minus-three.

MINNESOTA 1 VEGAS 0 (OT) Minnesota leads best-of-seven series 1-0)

The Minnesota-Vegas game was the third in a row that went into overtime as the Boston-Washington game Saturday also went into extra time. It’s the first time in NHL history that the first three games of the Stanley Cup playoffs has gone into overtime.

It was an outstanding display of goaltending with great save after great save by both Cam Talbot and Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Minnesota Wild were victorious as Joel Eriksson-Ek scored the overtime winner, 3:20 into the first overtime as his shot from the slot deflected off defenseman Alec Martinez and between the legs of Fleury and into the net.

Talbot kept the Wild in the game, especially in the first period when Vegas was all over Minnesota, outshooting them to the tune of 19-5.

The Wild were even with the Golden Knights the rest of the way as Minnesota outshot Vegas 13-11 in the second and were outshot 10-9 in the third.

Talbot picked up the shutout as he stopped all 42 shots including two in overtime. Fleury stopped 29-of-30 shots in taking the loss but he certainly could not be blamed as he made a bunch of great saves, including a couple on Ryan Hartman.

Much like the Islanders-Pittsburgh game, this one was hard-hitting as well, as the Wild outhit the Golden Knights 71-13 and had 23 blocked shots compared to 13 for Vegas.

Jordan Greenway had 11 hits while Marcus Foligno had 10. Ryan Reaves and Brayden McNabb had 10 apiece for the Golden Knights.

Shea Theodore had five shots on net.

Matt Dumba took a couple of minors.

Max Pacioretty, the Golden Knights leading goal scorer, did not play, as he had also missed the last six games of the regular season with an undisclosed injury.

Minnesota won the season series, going 5-1-2 to the Golden Knights 3-5-0 and it looks like this series is going long.

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TAMPA BAY 5 FLORIDA 4 (Tampa Bay leads best-of-seven series 1-0)

Finally! A game that did not go into overtime, but it was close.

Brayden Point scored his second of the game with just 1:14 left in the third period to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 5-4 win over the Florida Panthers.

All three playoff games on Sunday were won by the road teams as the Lightning came back from a 4-3 deficit in the third as Point tied the score with seven minutes to go, and then won it on a breakaway on a perfect stretch pass from Ryan McDonagh.

But the story of the game was Nikita Kucherov. The Lightning star did not play in one regular season game as he recovered from off-season hip surgery, but was in the Tampa Bay lineup for Game 1. A lot of people would say that he could have returned earlier but the Lightning held him out due to salary cap restrictions, only allowing him to return once the cap implications were completed at the end of the regular season.

Kucherov showed no signs of rust as he scored twice and added an assist, playing 19:21 including 4:04 on the power play. Both his goals were scored with the man-advantage as the Bolts scored three times in four opportunities.

Blake Coleman opened the scoring for Tampa Bay who outshot Florida 40-39.

The Panthers played a very good game as it was the best game of the day. After Coleman gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead in the first period, Aleksander Barkov tied it up and then set up Carter Verhaeghe to make it 2-1 Panthers after one.

Kucherov scored both goals in the second but the Panthers tied it up and then retook the lead early in the third as Jonathan Huberdeau scored at the 1:27 mark while Owen Tippett scored just 2:42 later.

Despite the high scoring contest, both goaltenders, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Sergei Bobrovsky played well in their respective nets.

Both netminders turned aside 35 shots with Vasilevskiy picking up the victory.

Victor Hedman assisted on three goals while McDonagh, Sam Bennett, Huberdeau and Yandle each had two.

Radko Gudas had 11 hits.

Brandon Montour had six shots on goal with Barkov, Huberdeau, Kucherov and Erik Cernak each getting five.

Special teams made the difference for Tampa Bay. As mentioned earlier, the Lightning scored three on the power play while Coleman’s goal was shorthanded. The Panthers scored once on the pp on three chances.


In a game that meant something to only roto players in a year-long league who do not play head-to-head, the Flames defeated the Vancouver Canucks 6-5. Of course, the game went into overtime as the Canucks fought back from a 5-1 deficit heading into the third period to tie the game and send it into extra time.

Elias Lindholm scored the overtime winner as the Flames also jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second as well as the 5-1 lead heading into the third.

Andrew Mangiapane scored twice with Josh Leivo, Milan Lucic and Matthew Tkachuk also finding the back of the net.

Brock Boeser scored twice for Vancouver with Travis Hamonic, Tyler Graovac and J.T. Miller replied for Vancouver.

Jacob Markstrom stopped 30 shots for the win while Braden Holtby gave up six goals on 35 shots in taking the loss.

Quinn Hughes had three assists.

Jonah Gadjovich made his NHL debut and fought Connor Mackey who was playing his fourth NHL game. Gadjovich had 17 penalty minutes while Mackey had nine. Mackey, who played three times in the middle of February, had an assist and was a plus-two.

NIGHTLY LEADERS (Playoffs only)


Kyle Palmieri – 2

Nikita Kucherov – 2

Brayden Point – 2


Victor Hedman – 3

Keith Yandle – 2

Ryan McDonagh – 2

Sam Bennett – 2

Jonathan Huberdeau – 2

Jean-Gabriel Pageau – 2

Shots on Goal

Brandon Montour – 6

Aleksander Barkov – 5

Jonathan Huberdeau -5

Erik Cernak – 5

Nikita Kucherov – 5

Sidney Crosby – 5

Shea Theodore – 5


Leo Komarov – 14

Jordan Greenway – 11

Radko Gudas – 11

Marcus Foligno – 10

Brayden McNabb – 10

Ryan Reaves – 10

William Carrier – 9

Matt Martin – 9

Brandon Tanev – 9Penalty Minutes

Jeff Carter – 4

Matt Dumba – 4

Sam Bennett – 4

Blake Coleman – 4

Published: 2021-05-17 05:17:38

Tags: #Lightning #strike #Game


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