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Islanders ready for Lightning in second round

Teams haven't met in playoffs since Tampa Bay's five-game victory in 2004

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

The New York Islanders, who won a Stanley Cup Playoff series for the first time in 23 years, will play the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Second Round.

It will be the second time the Lightning and Islanders meet in the playoffs; Tampa Bay defeated New York in five games in the 2004 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2004 en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

The Islanders eliminated the Florida Panthers with a 2-1 double-overtime victory in Game 6 of their first-round series at Barclays Center on Sunday. It was their first playoff series win since defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Patrick Division Final in 1993. They had lost their past eight series.

John Tavares, who scored two goals in Game 6, including the series-winner at 10:41 of the second overtime, led the Islanders with five goals and nine points. Kyle Okposo had one goal and six points. Frans Nielsen scored three goals.

Thomas Greiss allowed 13 goals in six games and had a 1.79 goals-against average and .944 save percentage. He made 47 saves in Game 5 and 41 in Game 6.

The Lightning, who lost in the Stanley Cup Final last season, were the first team to advance to the second round, defeating the Detroit Red Wings in five games. It was the second straight season they eliminated Detroit in the first round.

Tampa Bay was led by its top line of Nikita Kucherov (five goals, three assists), Tyler Johnson (two goals, five assists) and Alex Killorn (three goals, two assists). They combined for 10 of Tampa Bay's 12 goals in the first round.

Goalie Ben Bishop allowed eight goals on 160 shots, and had a 1.61 goals-against average and .950 save percentage. He made 34 saves in a 1-0 shutout in Game 5.

Game 1 of the second round will be at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. The winner will advance to the Eastern Conference Final to play the Washington Capitals or Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Islanders won two of three games during the regular season, going 1-1-0 at Amalie Arena and 1-0-0 in Brooklyn. Tavares led the Islanders with two goals and three assists. Greiss started all three games and had a 3.38 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage. Killorn had two goals and two assists. Bishop started all three games and allowed 12 goals on 76 shots (4.41 goals-against average, .842 save percentage).

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