Islanders Take 2-0 Series Lead Against Penguins

After falling behind within the second interval, the Islanders didn’t develop discouraged. They maintained their focus, tied it minutes later after which pulled away within the third interval.

Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey scored lower than 4 minutes aside within the remaining interval and the Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, Three-1, on Friday evening at Nassau Coliseum for a 2-0 lead of their first-round playoff sequence.

“You can’t get too emotional, get too down and get frustrated,” the Islanders’ captain, Anders Lee, mentioned. “We were playing a good game at the time,” Pittsburgh scored, “but there was plenty of time left.”

Anthony Beauvillier had the tying objective halfway by the second interval, and Robin Lehner stopped 32 photographs to assist the Islanders open a postseason sequence with two wins for the primary time since sweeping Edmonton within the 1983 Stanley Cup finals for his or her fourth straight championship.

Mathew Barzal had two assists in a sport that featured quite a lot of exhausting hits and a few skirmishes, particularly within the first two intervals — and likewise after the ultimate buzzer.

“We stayed with it all night,” Islanders Coach Barry Trotz mentioned. “Both teams were knocking heads for a while there.”

He added, “We got opportunities and we capitalized on them, and we got a big save when we needed it.”

Erik Gudbranson scored and Matt Murray completed with 31 saves for the Penguins, who’ve misplaced the primary two video games of a postseason sequence for the primary time for the reason that 2013 Eastern Conference finals in opposition to Boston. Game Three is Sunday in Pittsburgh.

“We’ve got to go back to our building and worry about one game,” Murray mentioned. “That’s it.”

The Islanders took the lead after a turnover by the Penguins close to their blue line. Barzal despatched the puck to Eberle on the best aspect. Eberle skated throughout the entrance and despatched a backhand in at 7 minutes 54 second of the third interval to place the Islanders forward, 2-1.

Bailey, who had the time beyond regulation winner in Game 1 on Wednesday evening, then gave the Islanders a two-goal lead with eight:22 remaining on the Islanders’ sixth energy play of the evening. Devon Toews fired a shot that hit Lee, and the puck got here to Bailey, who put it in from the best aspect.

The Islanders struggled on the ability play all season, going Three for 50 over the ultimate 22 video games to complete 29th within the N.H.L. at 14.5 p.c. They had one objective on their first seven probabilities of this sequence earlier than Bailey’s rating.

“We kind of talked earlier in the week, just our power play not killing momentum,” Lee mentioned. “We might not score every time, but to have a good showing, get some shots, create some buzz around us and start feeling the puck. We had a good showing with that. Guys just stuck with it.”

The Penguins pulled Murray for an additional skater with 2:44 remaining, however couldn’t take benefit. Lehner made a pleasant glove save on Phil Kessel from the best circle, drawing chants of “Leh-ner! Leh-ner!” from the raucous residence crowd.

“He was stellar, he made some huge saves,” Eberle mentioned. “A couple that seemed they had an ‘A’ chance at. He’s been huge all year.”

Gudbranson gave the Penguins their first lead of the sequence when he took a cross from Evgeni Malkin and fired a one-timer that beat Lehner’s blocker aspect and went in off the submit with 9:24 remaining within the second interval. It was Gudbranson’s first profession playoff level.

Less than three minutes later, Beauvillier tied it with 6:35 left within the interval together with his first profession playoff objective as he knocked within the free puck in entrance after Murray was out of place following a save on Barzal’s preliminary strive on a three-on-two break

While a few of the Islanders started celebrating the objective, fights broke out to Murray’s left. Barzal was given a double minor for roughing, and Pittsburgh’s Marcus Pettersson acquired a two-minute penalty.

BLUE JACKETS 5, LIGHTNING 1 Matt Duchene had a objective and three assists, Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves, and Columbus shocked host Tampa Bay to take a 2-0 sequence lead.

The Blue Jackets additionally obtained targets from Cam Atkinson, Zach Werenski, Riley Nash and Artemi Panarin. Columbus, which is able to host Tampa Bay on Sunday evening, gained the primary two video games of the first-round sequence with the eventual Stanley Cup champion, Washington, which gained the subsequent 4 video games.

“It’s half the wins that we need,” Duchene mentioned. “We’re keeping our heads down and our eyes on the prize.”

Mikhail Sergachev had a objective and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22 photographs for the Lightning, who misplaced two video games in a row simply twice within the common season. Tampa Bay matched the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings for essentially the most wins in an everyday season with 62.

“We’re better than we’re executing,” the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos mentioned. “There’s no sense in pouting right now. We have to find a way to win.”

Lightning proper wing Nikita Kucherov, who led the N.H.L. with 128 factors, was once more scoreless and picked up tripping, boarding and 10-minute misconduct penalties late within the third interval. He might face self-discipline from the league.

BLUES four, JETS Three Ryan O’Reilly scored on a seemingly stoppable shot with Three:46 gone within the third interval to offer St. Louis a victory at Winnipeg and a 2-0 sequence lead. Game Three is Sunday evening in St. Louis.

Oskar Sundqvist scored twice for the Blues, and Jordan Binnington made 26 saves, together with a number of within the remaining minutes because the Jets turned up the strain. Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele every had a objective and an help for Winnipeg.

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