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Sports News:
Lightning romp to 8-2 win over Isles to open East finals

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – Braydon Point and the well-rested Tampa Bay Lightning resembled a refreshed group keen to come off an prolonged break after switching cities within the NHL playoff bubble.

The New York Islanders, alternatively, appeared predictably travel– and game-weary.

Point scored twice and added three assists in an 8-2 romp over the Islanders to open the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night time. Nikita Kucherov had 4 assists, and scored his thirty fourth profession playoff objective to transfer one forward of Martin St. Louis for first on the franchise record.

The Lightning confirmed no indicators of rust following a close to week-long break after eliminating the Boston Bruins of their second-round sequence with a 3-2 double-overtime win on Aug. 31. They as a substitute resembled a refreshed group by scoring 3 times on 9 pictures to construct a 3-1 lead by the ten:46 mark of the primary interval, and matched a franchise file for many targets scored in a playoff recreation.

The Islanders, by comparability, got here out flat, trying like a group that spent Sunday flying to Edmonton, Alberta, from Toronto, a day after a 4-0 win over Philadelphia in Game 7 of their second-round sequence.

“Let’s be honest, this is a one-off. They had to grind through a seven-game series and then travel and play and change time zones,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper stated.

“Now we’re on even terms. There’s no travel. Everyone gets the same rest,” he added. “It’s easy to say now that the game turned out the way it did. Bottom line is, you’ve got to take advantage of a tired team.”

Point and Kucherov’s five-point nights set a franchise playoff file. Yanni Gourde scored twice, Victor Hedman had a objective and two assists and Ryan McDonagh and Ondrej Palat additionally scored for the second-seeded Lightning.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves, and the Lightning have received 5 straight, matching their longest playoff run since 2016.

Game 2 is Wednesday.

Thomas Greiss, who stopped 16 pictures in incomes his first postseason shutout on Saturday, was yanked after giving up three targets on 9 pictures. He was changed by Semyon Varlamov, who gave up 5 targets on 25 pictures.

Jordan Eberle briefly tied the sport at 1 with a power-play objective for New York, the one remaining group that performed a preliminary spherical elimination sequence. Nick Leddy’s third-period objective briefly minimize the Lightning lead to 6-2.

Islanders captain Anders declined to use the group’s quick turnaround as an excuse.

“We’ve been through travel and transitions like this regular season playoffs all before, so it just takes a few minutes to get your legs going a little bit and then you settled in,” Lee stated. “I don’t think that was indicative of the whole game.”

The eight targets allowed matched a franchise low, following an 8-3 loss to the New York Rangers within the Islanders’ second playoff recreation on April 10, 1975.

“Every time we made a mistake, they scored,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz stated.

The opening objective mirrored the disparity in relaxation between the 2 groups.

Point opened the scoring 74 seconds in by bursting up the left wing, getting a step a round Ryan Pulock, earlier than driving to the online and wrapping the puck round Greiss.

Hedman stated the objective offered the Lightning a right away carry.

“Obviously, we haven’t played for a week, and we were thinking how the start was going to be, and then Pointer does that,” Hedman stated. “I think he set the tone from the start.”

After Eberle scored, the Lightning struck for 2 targets on consecutive pictures, coming 2:34 aside.

Hedman, from the blue line and arrange by Point’s no-look go, blasted a shot contained in the left submit with Greiss screened by Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn for a power-play objective. Then McDonagh beat Greiss excessive on the quick aspect from the left circle.

Point prolonged his level streak to seven video games, wherein he’s mixed for 4 targets and 12 assists. He additionally has some extent in 13 of Tampa Bay’s 14 playoff video games this 12 months.

The Lightning piled on by scoring twice within the second interval, together with a delayed objective scored by Gourde following an NHL video overview as play progressed. The horn was blown 14 seconds after Gourde’s shot crossed the objective line and bounced off Islanders defenseman Andy Greene’s stick, which was within the internet.

Islanders checking-line ahead Cal Clutterbuck briefly returned to the bench however didn’t play within the third interval. He limped off halfway by the second interval,after taking Mikail Sergachev’s slap shot off his proper ankle.

Trotz had no replace on Clutterbuck’s standing.

Frustration additionally set in late within the second interval, when New York’s Mathew Barzal angrily slammed his stick on the glass following a missed scoring alternative.

NOTES: The Lightning matched their playoff goal-scoring file set in an 8-2 win over Pittsburgh in a 2011 first-round recreation. … Isles coach Barry Trotz revealed he and Lightning coach Jon Cooper attended the identical highschool – although not on the similar time – in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. The two lately posed for an image in a health club whereas contained in the Toronto bubble, and had it despatched to the highschool. … Hedman’s power-play objective was the primary allowed by the Islanders in 9 video games, ending the franchise playoff-record run. New York had kil-led off 16 straight power-play alternatives since permitting one in a 3-2 loss to Washington on Aug. 18. Tampa transformed three of six power-play alternatives.

UP NEXT

Game 2 is Wednesday at 8 p.m. EDT.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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