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Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov (86) scores against New York Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov (40) as Islanders' Nick Leddy (2) defends during third-period NHL Eastern Conference final playoff game action in Edmonton, Alberta, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Lightning Take Game One of Eastern Conference Finals

The Tampa Bay Lightning took a convincing 8-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Monday night in Game One of the NHL Eastern Conference Final.

Lightning Strike Early

The Islanders, coming off of a seven game series against the Philadelphia Flyers, weren’t able to match a well-rested Tampa Bay. The Lightning struck early with center Brayden Point scoring the first goal within two minutes of the game beginning.

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In the first period, New York’s Jordan Eberie put the Islanders on the board with a powerplay goal. Tampa Bay quickly regained control with a goal from Victor Hedman assisted by Nikita Kucherov and Point. Kucherov finished the night with four assists and one goal.

Up 2-1, the Lightning continued to roll with a series of goals from Ryan McDonagh, Yanni Gourde, Kucherov and Point. Furthermore, both Gourde and Point led the Lightning with two goals on the night.

The Lightning held a steady lead throughout the game with the Islanders tacking on one more goal in the third period. Islander’s Nick Leddy slipped one past Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to cut the Lighting lead to four.

In response, Tampa Bay left wing Ondrej Palat and Gourde scored the Lightning’s final two goals late in the third period.

History in the Making

The Lightning re-recorded history in Monday night’s Game One victory. With a total of eight goals, the Lightning matched the all-time record for number of goals scored in a single playoff game.

Despite the absence of captain Steve Stamkos, the Lightning have proved their offense has no holes. Six different Lightning players managed to tack on a goal in the Lightning’s Game One victory.

A Look Ahead

The Lightning look to pick up where they left off in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Lightning offense proved to have no problem in Game One with eight players recording at least one assist.

In the goal, Vasilevskiy shut out the Islanders 22 out of 24 times recording a .917 save percentage.

Tampa Bay returns to the ice against the Islanders on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. for Game Two play.

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