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game recap

Lightning defeat Penguins in Game 1, lose Bishop

Tampa Bay goalie taken off on stretcher in first period

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves after replacing injured starter Ben Bishop to help the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at Consol Energy Center on Friday.

Bishop, who made nine saves, left on a stretcher with 7:35 remaining in the first period after his stick became tangled with Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist, who was attempting to drive behind the net. Bishop tried to follow the puck by twisting back to his left and appeared to injure his leg.

"We're hoping for the best," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, noting that X-rays on Bishop came back negative.

The Lightning lead the best-of-7 series with Game 2 here on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Video: TBL@PIT, Gm1: Bishop exits with injury in the 1st

"In the first two periods, I didn't feel good," said Vasilevskiy, who had not won since Feb. 29 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. "So I was cold and tough mentally, but when we scored three goals, I got some confidence, and in the third period, I felt pretty good. I got some shots and just warmed up."

Cooper said the Lightning didn't panic when Vasilevskiy entered the game.

"For someone as young as he is, he's already played in a Stanley Cup Final," Cooper said. "He was called on in the biggest moments last year, and talk about pushing somebody down the learning curve a little faster than we wanted to. … Nobody on the bench was thinking 'Oh, we're nervous. Vasilevskiy is going in.'"

Vasilevskiy, 21, earned his second Stanley Cup Playoff win. His first came in Game 2 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, when he made five saves in relief of Bishop in a 4-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Video: TBL@PIT, Gm1: Vasilevskiy makes tough pad stop in 3rd

Friday was Vasilevskiy's sixth NHL playoff appearance. He played once this postseason, when he made eight saves in a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round.

Alex Killorn scored his fourth goal of the playoffs to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead with 1:14 remaining in the first period. After defenseman Victor Hedman sent a breakout pass through the neutral zone, Killorn shrugged off defenseman Olli Maatta before driving toward Murray. Killorn went forehand to backhand and shot through rookie goalie Matt Murray's five-hole.

Ondrej Palat extended the lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal 2:33 into the second period. With Evgeni Malkin in the penalty box for hooking, Valtteri Filppula took a slap shot off Murray's left pad; Palat dove toward the puck and backhanded it into the net.

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

Jonathan Drouin made it 3-0 for Tampa Bay when Palat set him up on a 3-on-1 against Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin. Palat's pass slipped through Dumoulin to Drouin, who one-timed a shot past Murray's glove with 1:11 remaining in the second.

Murray, 21, made 17 saves and lost for the third time in 10 playoff starts. He said he was not surprised by Vasilevskiy's performance.

"He's obviously a great goalie," Murray said. "He was drafted the same year I was (2012). He's a first-rounder and played in World Juniors and he's a heck of a goalie. I don't think it was much of a drop off, losing Bishop. He's such a good goaltender."

Hornqvist cut the lead to 3-1 with a power-play goal set up by a backhand pass Sidney Crosby sent between his legs. Hornqvist's shot went over Vasilevskiy's blocker with 54.6 seconds left in the second period.

Video: TBL@PIT, Gm1: Killorn gets free and beats Murray

Pittsburgh forward Chris Kunitz collided with Tampa Bay forward Tyler Johnson's right knee with 36.4 seconds remaining in the first period. Johnson attempted to skate off the ice before falling and being carried to the locker room, putting no pressure on his right leg. He returned midway through the second period.

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang left 2:50 into the game after being hit into the corner by Lightning forward Ryan Callahan but returned later in the period.

Dumoulin left the game after being pushed into the boards by Palat with 4:46 remaining in the third period and did not return.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan did not update Dumoulin's status but said Letang was fine.

Pittsburgh had 35 shots but was held to one goal for the second time in three games.

"They defend hard. They block shots," Sullivan said. "They have people in the lanes. They have good support mechanism built in place when somebody gets beat. I thought we generated a fair amount of chances. We have to find a way to convert."

Video: Palat, Vasilevskiy lead Lightning to Game 1 road win

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