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Shane Prince leads Islanders past Lightning in Game 1

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NHL

TAMPA-The New York Islanders took on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference second round at Amalie Arena on Wednesday.

Both teams have each been dealing with injuries since the final weeks of the regular season.

Forward Josh Bailey did not travel with the Islanders and wasn’t available on Wednesday night. Bailey left Game 6 of the first round against the Florida Panthers in the first period with an upper-body injury.

Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock, who has been dealing with an upper-body injury since April 20, did travel and was a full participant at the morning skate. Head coach Jack Capuano said he could play Wednesday, but didn’t commit to it.

Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman is still recovering from a fractured left leg. Stralman did not skate Wednesday and coach Jon Cooper said he will not be available early in the series.

However, the first game of the best-of-seven series was exhilarating.

The Lightning struck first, as Ondrej Palat received a backhand pass from Jonathan Drouin and one-timed it past Thomas Greiss to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead just 3:05 into the opening period.

Just 2:39 later, Travis Hamonic rushed to the loose puck along the boards and wristed it past Ben Bishop, tying the game at 1.

Shane Prince then stole the show with two goals in a span of 2:29.

Ryan Strome found Prince in front and Prince chipped the puck past Bishop to put the Islanders ahead 2-1 at 17:28.

Prince scored his second goal of the game by roofing a one-timer off the pass from Strome during the final three seconds of the first to extend the Islanders’ lead to 3-1.

The Islanders led 3-1 after 20 minutes.

John Tavares took a shot from the top of the circle, going top-shelf on the power play rifling it past Bishop, to expand the Islanders’ lead to 4-1 at 8:59 of the second.

Palat made a great cross-ice pass to Nikita Kucherov, who one-timed it past Greiss to cut the deficit in half at 7:41 of the third.

Capuano was hit in the face with a deflected puck with 11:31 remaining in the third period but returned to the bench in the final two minutes with a cut on his nose and swelling around his eye.

“I’m good,” he told Corey Long of NHL.com. “A little bit of a headache, but other than that, it’s a good victory for our team.”

The Lightning made it a one-goal game at 17:28 after Valtteri Filppula got to the rebound and hammered it into the back of the net.

However, the Islanders showed no signs of fear.

Cal Clutterbuck received a pass from Casey Cizikas and shot the puck into the empty net, sealing a 5-3 win for the Islanders in Game 1.

 Greiss made 33 saves for New York. Bishop made nine saves on 13 shots before being pulled. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with eight saves for Tampa Bay.

Follow me on Twitter @AnaKieu.

Notes:
Islanders
Injured: Anders Lee (broken leg), Makhail Grabovski (concussion), Jaroslav Halak (groin), Josh Bailey (upper body), Ryan Pulock (upper body).

Scratched: Brian Strait, James Wright, Eric Boulton
 
Lightning
Injured: Anton Stralman (fractured left leg), Steven Stamkos (blood clot surgery), J.T. Brown (upper body)
 
Scratched: Jonathan Marchessault, Matt Taormina
Each team held optional skates Wednesday. Steven Stamkos skated for a second straight day wearing a red no-contact jersey. Jaroslav Halak was a full participant in practice Wednesday and took shots in goal.

Up Next: Both teams meet again at Amalie Arena Saturday for Game 2 with the puck drop set for 3:00 pm ET on TVA and NBC.

NOTE: This article was written by Ana Kieu.