Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock both scored goals to give the visiting New York Islanders a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday and first blood in their Stanley Cup semifinal series.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 shots for the Islanders, who have won four straight games.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven semifinal series will be Tuesday in Tampa.
Brayden Point tallied for the Lightning while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who trail in a series for the first time this postseason.
After a scoreless opening period in which the visitors withstood an early Tampa Bay push before recovering, Barzal's breakaway tally beyond the midway point opened the scoring. Josh Bailey intercepted Steven Stamkos' ill-advised, cross-ice pass just inside the New York blue line and sent a long pass for Barzal to receive at top speed.
Barzal held off a check and slipped a shot through Vasilevskiy's legs to net his fourth goal in the last five games at the 12:32 mark of the middle frame.
Pulock's point-shot blast doubled the New York lead at 5:36 of the third period and held up as the game winner. New York's forecheckers did a masterful job to gain the puck in the offensive zone and, after Jordan Eberle pulled the puck from the scrum and sent it to the point, Pulock fired a rocket that cleanly beat Vasilevskiy.
Point put the Lightning on the board when he netted a power-play goal with 53.7 seconds remaining in regulation, finishing a wild scramble while his team had pulled the goalie for the extra attacker, but that was as close as the Lightning could get.
Although he wasn't called upon to make the highlight-reel saves Vasilevskiy provided, Varlamov earned full marks for the victory with a couple of notable saves against Alex Killorn.
As well, his team did a remarkable job keeping Tampa Bay's big guns in check. Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov both managed only one shot on goal each as the Lightning were nearly shut out in the playoffs for the first time since their Game 7 loss in the conference finals to the Washington Capitals on May 23, 2018.
--Field Level Media
|NY Islanders||Tampa Bay|
|Mathew Barzal 1||Points||Brayden Point 1|
|Mathew Barzal 1||Goals||Brayden Point 1|
|Josh Bailey 1||Assists||Alex Killorn 1|
|N/A||Power Play Goals||Brayden Point 1|
|N/A||Short Handed Goals||N/A|
|Semyon Varlamov .968||Save Percentage||Andrei Vasilevskiy .935|
|Semyon Varlamov 30||Saves||Andrei Vasilevskiy 29|
|Team||Shots||Goals||Power Play||Penalty Kill||Penalty Mins||Face Offs Won|