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Late goal caps Tampa Bay's rally

by The Associated Press | May 17, 2021 at 1:57 a.m.
New York Islanders' Kyle Palmieri (21) returns to the bench after scoring during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Brayden Point scored two late goals, including the game-winner with 1:14 left in the third period, to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-4 win over the Florida Panthers on Sunday night in Game 1 of their playoff series.

Nikita Kucherov scored two power-play goals in his first appearance of the season, and Blake Coleman scored a short-handed goal. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves and Victor Hedman had three assists.

Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists, Owen Tippitt and Aleksander Barkov each had a goal and an assist and Carter Verhaeghe scored a goal against his former team to lead the Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots, and Keith Yandle and Sam Bennett each had two assists.

Point tied it at 4 with seven minutes to go on his power-play goal and then got the winner when he skated in on a breakaway and backhanded the puck past Bobrovsky.

With the Panthers trailing 3-2, Huberdeau skated in on a breakaway and slid the puck under Vasilevskiy's pads at 1:27 into the third to tie the score at 3.

Tippett gave the Panthers a 4-3 lead on his goal at 4:09 of the third.

The Panthers thought they scored a power-play goal when Sam Bennett pushed the puck past Vasilevskiy at 7:26 of the first, but the goal was waved off due to goalie interference. The Lightning took a 1-0 lead on Coleman's short-handed goal 16 seconds later.

The Panthers tied it at 1 on Barkov's power-play goal at 9:41, and Verhaeghe put them ahead with 3:29 left in the first.

Kucherov tied the score 2-all on his first power-play goal at 4:48 of the second. His second gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead when he one-timed a pass from Hedman from the right circle with 5:09 left in the second. Kucherov missed the entire regular season with a hip injury after having surgery on Dec. 29. He played his first game since Sept. 28.

The first period was especially chippy, with a combined 16 penalty minutes. The second period ended with a fighting scrum in front of the Tampa Bay net.

ISLANDERS 4,

PENGUINS 3 (OT)

PITTSBURGH -- Kyle Palmieri's second goal of the game 16:30 into overtime lifted New York to a victory over Pittsburgh in Game 1 of their first-round series.

Palmieri collected a pass from Jean-Gabriel Pageau near the goal line and lifted it over Tristan Jarry and into the net as New York beat the Penguins for the first time in five tries at PPG Paints Arena this season.

Pageau and Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders. Rookie goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 39 saves in his playoff debut and New York handed Pittsburgh its 10th playoff loss in the franchise's past 11 postseason games.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.

Sidney Crosby, Frederick Gaudreau and Kasperi Kapanen scored for the Penguins, but the East Division champions couldn't capitalize despite controlling play for most of the first two periods. Jarry finished with 37 saves but had issues with his glove side. All four of New York goals sailed over, around or seemingly through Jarry's left arm.

The Islanders came in on their heels after finishing the regular season in a 6-6-3 funk, with none of the victories coming against playoff qualifiers. They appeared to have the advantage in net until veteran Semyon Varlamov was scratched, making Sorokin just the second rookie goaltender in Islanders' history to start the opening game of the postseason.

WILD 1,

KNIGHTS 0 (OT)

LAS VEGAS -- Joel Eriksson Ek's goal at 3:20 of overtime lifted Minnesota past Vegas in Game 1 of their first-round series.

Wild goaltender Cam Talbot stopped all 42 shots he faced.

Vegas' Marc-Andre Fleury, the first goalie in NHL history to play in 15 consecutive postseasons, made 29 saves.

After Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo failed to clear the puck, Eriksson Ek was in the slot to send a shot that went off the skate of Golden Knights defender Alec Martinez and past Fleury.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

Between hitting, skating, a torrid pace, spectacular goaltending -- regulation had everything but scoring.

With 8,683 frenzied fans in attendance to create the loudest atmosphere of the season, an intense first period saw the Golden Knights outshoot the Wild 19-5 and both teams staying aggressive on the forecheck and in the hitting department. Minnesota outhit Vegas 25-23 in the opening period. Talbot got some help from his skaters, too, as they registered 11 blocked shots to help keep the game scoreless.

After falling short in overall shot attempts in the first period -- Vegas had a total of 38 to Minnesota's nine -- the Wild flipped the script and did a much better job of turning pucks over, creating breakouts and getting better looks while keeping the Knights locked in their own zone. Fleury was busy in making some of his trademark glove-flashing windmill saves.

New York Islanders' Brock Nelson (29) celebrates after scoring during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. The Islander won in overtime 4-3. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
New York Islanders' Brock Nelson (29) celebrates after scoring during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. The Islander won in overtime 4-3. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins' Frederick Gaudreau (11) celebrates his goal with Cody Ceci, left, and Jason Zucker during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the New York Islanders in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins' Frederick Gaudreau (11) celebrates his goal with Cody Ceci, left, and Jason Zucker during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the New York Islanders in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby, center, cannot get his stick on the puck in front of New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokinin, right, with Islanders' Ryan Pulock (6) defending during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby, center, cannot get his stick on the puck in front of New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokinin, right, with Islanders' Ryan Pulock (6) defending during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins' Frederick Gaudreau (11) puts a shot over New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) for a goal during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins' Frederick Gaudreau (11) puts a shot over New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) for a goal during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
New York Islanders' Kyle Palmieri (21) celebrates with Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) after scoring during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
New York Islanders' Kyle Palmieri (21) celebrates with Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) after scoring during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
New York Islanders' Leo Komarov (47) leaps but can't get out of the way of a shot in front of Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021.  (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
New York Islanders' Leo Komarov (47) leaps but can't get out of the way of a shot in front of Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins' Brandon Tanev, left, checks New York Islanders' Noah Dobson off his skates during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins' Brandon Tanev, left, checks New York Islanders' Noah Dobson off his skates during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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