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Instant analysis: Lightning at Penguins, Game 1

Vasilevskiy steps in after Bishop hurt; Penguins pay price for sloppiness

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at Consol Energy Center on Friday. The Lightning lead the best-of-7 series 1-0.

Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin scored goals to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead at 18:25 of the second period. The Penguins got one goal back when Patric Hornqvist scored on the power play with 54.6 seconds remaining in the second to give his team life heading into the third.

Lightning backup goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who took over after Ben Bishop appeared to injure his left knee with 7:35 left in the first period, closed the door after that and finished with 25 saves to earn his second career Stanley Cup Playoff win.

What we learned: Penguins rookie Matt Murray isn't the only 21-year-old goaltender who can step up in a big spot in the playoffs. Vasilevskiy has done this before. He was 20 years old when he relieved an injured Bishop in Game 2 of last year's Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks and got credit for the win in a 4-3 victory.

The Penguins weren't as sharp as they were in the Eastern Conference Second Round Series against the Washington Capitals. They were beaten at their own speed game; the Lightning scored twice on quick transition plays that led to odd-man rushes.

What this means for the Penguins : They were sloppy with the puck and lost at home with Murray in net for the first time in this year's playoffs (4-1). Do they make the switch back to veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury now?

Video: TBL@PIT, Gm1: Drouin scores off Palat's dish on break

What this means for the Lightning: Being able to win after Bishop was injured was impressive, but it appears the Lightning might be without the Vezina Trophy finalist for an extended period after he was wheeled off on a stretcher. In addition, right wing Ryan Callahan might face supplemental discipline; his hit on Kris Letang earned a five-minute major for boarding and could get a closer look from the Department of Player Safety.

Key moment: The Penguins had a great chance to take an early lead when Callahan was assessed a major for boarding Letang 2:50 into the game, giving the Penguins a five-minute advantage. But their power play was unable to break through, with Bishop making four saves to keep the game scoreless. After Bishop was injured, the Lightning got the pivotal first goal when Killorn beat Murray between the pads on a breakaway with 1:14 left in the first.

Unsung player of the game: Lightning center Brian Boyle had a strong game defensively, and he helped kill off Callahan's major and another pivotal Penguins power play after Palat was sent off for boarding Brian Dumoulin with 4:46 left in the third period.

What's next: Game 2 is Monday at Consol Energy Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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