Islanders take Tampa in Game 1 of the semifinal series

Islanders take Tampa in Game 1 of the semifinal series

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The New York Islanders have opened their semifinal series by knocking off the defending Stanley Cup champs.

Semyon Varlamov (SEHM’-yahn vahr-LAH’-mahv) made 30 saves and the Isles got goals from Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock to beat the Lightning, 2-1 in Tampa.

Varlamov blanked Tampa Bay until Brayden Point netted a power-play goal in the final minute. Varlamov won his fourth straight playoff start, joining teammate Ilya Sorokin (sah-ROH’-kihn) as only the third pair of netminding teammates to have personal winning streaks of at least four games in a single postseason.

Barzal scored for the fourth time in five games, making it 1-0 on a breakaway in the second period following a bad pass by Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. Pulock doubled New York’s lead with a shot from the point that eluded Andre Vasilevskiy (va-sih-LEHV’-skee), who was otherwise brilliant in net.

The Islanders will carry a four-game winning streak into Game 2 on Tuesday in Tampa


Photo: New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates with the bench after scoring against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)