Josh Bailey sent the full house at the New York Islanders' first home playoff series opener in 31 years home with something to celebrate.
Bailey scored at 4:39 of overtime to give the Islanders a 4-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday. It was the first time the Islanders opened a postseason series at home since April 6, 1988, when they defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in overtime on a goal by Pat LaFontaine.
Bailey, who has played each of his 820 games (regular season and playoffs) with the Islanders, scored the first playoff game-winner of his career. He became the first Islanders player to score an overtime goal in the postseason since John Tavares scored at 30:41 of OT to give New York a series-clinching 2-1 win against the Florida Panthers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round in 2016. The Islanders are 34-16 all-time in overtime games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs; their .680 winning percentage is the best in NHL history.
Robin Lehner finished with 41 saves in the first playoff start of his NHL career, which came four days after he and Thomas Greiss won the William M. Jennings Trophy, given to the goalies on the team that allows the fewest goals in the regular season. Lehner became the third Islanders goalie to make at least 40 saves in a postseason game against the Penguins; the others are Billy Smith (44 saves) in a 3-1 loss in Game 2 of the 1975 Quarterfinals, and Glenn Healy (42 saves) in a 4-3 win in Game 7 of the 1993 Patrick Division Final.
Video: PIT@NYI, Gm1: Bailey wins it in OT for Islanders
Blue Jackets rally, stun Lightning
The Columbus Blue Jackets scored four unanswered goals, including three in the third period, to come back from three goals down and defeat the Presidents' Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Amalie Arena.
Columbus became the sixth team in NHL history to rally from being down at least three goals to win a playoff game against the top team in the regular season, and the 27th team in NHL history to overcome being behind at least three goals and win a playoff game in regulation; the last instance of each came when the Winnipeg Jets rallied for a 7-4 win against the Presidents' Trophy-winning Nashville Predators in Game 3 of the 2018 Western Conference Second Round.
The Blue Jackets have trailed by multiple goals in five of their six all-time playoff wins. They trailed in Games 2 and 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Games 1 and 2 of their first-round series against the Washington Capitals in 2018.
The three-goal comeback continued a trend from the regular season, which saw an NHL-record 138 multigoal comeback wins.
Video: CBJ@TBL, Gm1: Blue Jackets rally to win series opener
Burns, Vlasic, Karlsson power Sharks past Golden Knights
Defensemen Brent Burns (one goal, one assist), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (one goal, one assist) and Erik Karlsson (two assists) each had two points to help the San Jose Sharks defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round at SAP Center.
Burns, who led San Jose in scoring during the regular season with 83 points (16 goals, 67 assists), has 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) in 64 playoff games with the Sharks. His 16 playoff goals are the most by a defenseman in Sharks history, and his 45 points are three shy of matching Dan Boyle (48) for first among San Jose defensemen.
Karlsson's two assists came in his first playoff game with the Sharks, who acquired him in a trade with the Ottawa Senators on Sept. 13. In his most recent appearance in the playoffs, Karlsson had 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) to help the Senators get to Game 7 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Final, a 3-2 double-overtime loss to the Penguins.
Video: VGK@SJS, Gm1: Burns snaps one by Fleury
Bozak gets late winner for Blues
Tyler Bozak scored the winning goal with 2:05 remaining in the third period to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets in the opener of the Western Conference First Round at Bell MTS Place.
The Blues trailed 1-0 after two periods, but David Perron scored the tying goal 4:05 of the third before Bozak got the game-winner. Rookie goalie Jordan Binnington made 24 saves to win his playoff debut; he's the third goalie in Blues history to win his first playoff start, joining Ed Staniowski in Game 1 of the 1976 Preliminary Round (5-2 against the Buffalo Sabres) and Curtis Joseph in Game 1 of the 1990 Norris Division Semifinals (5-2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs).
Video: STL@WPG, Gm1: Bozak pots Maroon's feed for late lead