TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning had been waiting all postseason to get a goal from their defensemen. They got a pair on Tuesday to even their Stanley Cup semifinal series with the New York Islanders at a game apiece.
Blueliners Jan Rutta (ROO’-tah) and Victor Hedman scored seven minutes apart in the third period to give the Bolts a 4-1 lead in a 4-2 win over the Isles. Rutta scored for the first time in December 2019, which proved to be the game-winner.
Nikita Kucherov (KOO’-cheh-rahv) set up goals by Hedman, Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat (AHN’-dray pah-LAHT’), one game after Tampa Bay waited until the final minute to beat Semyon Varlamov (SEHM’-yahn vahr-LAH’-mahv).
Brock Nelson and Mat Barzal had the Islanders goals against Andrei Vasilevskiy (va-sih-LEHV’-skee), who stopped 24 shots.
Game 3 is Thursday at Nassau Coliseum.
Photo: New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (40) cover up after getting hurt during the first period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)