TAMPA -- The New York Islanders defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 in Game 1 of their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series Wednesday at Amalie Arena.
New York scored four straight goals -- two from rookie forward Shane Prince, one each from Travis Hamonic and John Tavares -- and chased Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop on the day he was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. The Lightning pressed in the third period, scored twice and cut the Islanders lead from 4-1 to 4-3, but they couldn't complete the comeback.
Bishop did not allow a first-period goal and did not give up more than two goals in a game in the first round against the Detroit Red Wings. He allowed three goals in the first period and four in less than half a game Wednesday.
What we learned: There might be something to the fact the Lightning were off since Thursday and the Islanders played Sunday. Tampa Bay looked sloppy, and New York was sharp, at least before the score became lopsided. But a lot of that had to do with the Islanders too. The Lightning face a different opponent than they did in the first round. New York is faster and more physical than Detroit, with a more mobile defense. That said, the Islanders cannot afford to sit back against the Lightning like they did in the third period.
Video: NYI@TBL, Gm1: Prince finishes both of Strome's feeds
What this means for the Islanders: After winning their first Stanley Cup Playoff series since 1993, defeating the Florida Panthers in the first round, the Islanders rode the momentum into the second round and stole home-ice advantage. They showed they can use their speed, physicality and depth to their advantage and cause problems for the Lightning.
What this means for the Lightning: They lost home-ice advantage and learned they need to pay more attention to detail. Too many turnovers. Too many breakdowns in the neutral and defensive zone. Bishop needs to rebound.
Key moment: After Nikita Kucherov cut the New York lead to 4-2 in the third period, Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss made three big saves in rapid succession. He did the splits to rob Kucherov with his right pad on a wraparound, got his right pad on a one-timer in tight from Jonathan Drouin and got his blocker on a shot by Nikita Nesterov.
Video: NYI@TBL, Gm1: Greiss makes great pad stop on Drouin
Unsung player of the game: Islanders forward Ryan Strome, the No. 5 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, was scratched the last two games of the first round after going without a point three games in a row. Coach Jack Capuano said Strome had to compete harder, and Strome responded by assisting on each of Prince's goals.
What's next: Game 2 is at Amalie Arena on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN). Each team will have had the same amount of rest. Will the Lightning look sharp, or will the Islanders make them look sloppy again?