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Stanley Cup Playoffs wrap up: Brayden Point is very good

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Your daily recap of the 2020 NHL playoffs.

New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs we’ll be keeping track of all the action around the league, and bringing you all of the results in one place.

No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 6 New York Islanders

After the first game of the Western Conference Final series, as we saw, was a positively enthralling 1-0 win for the Stars, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final was something of a breath of fresh air. There was a bit of an open question going in of if the Lightning would need a bit of time to get settled into the game, as they had all that time off, but Brayden Point quashed that pretty quickly, scoring on his very first shift of the game, just 1:14 into the first. The Islanders were able to come back pretty quickly, picking up a power play goal care of Jordan Eberle just before the five minute mark, and suddenly we had a game again. But the tides were turning, and it was happening quickly, and the Lightning were picking up momentum and running with it. The Lightning picked up a power play goal of their own from Victor Hedman just before the midway point of the period, and then Ryan McDonough extended the Lightning’s lead to two just two and a half minutes later, also ending Thomas Greiss’s night early, and the Islanders couldn’t seen to get to intermission fast enough.

But the Lightning’s onslaught continued into the second period, their surge just as strong, and it saw a really close chance for Yanni Gourde that seemed to only just miss. The Islanders seemed to dodge a bullet, and were able to get play moving in the other direction, but not so fast! The goal horn of doom sounded and the ruling came down from Toronto that Gourde’s shot had indeed crossed the goal line, and we had a good goal. So that’s a 4-1 lead for the Lightning.

Tampa Bay managed two more unanswered goals, as Point got his second of the night on a stellar deflection on the power play, and them Nikita Kucherov tacked one on early in the third period, before the Islanders were able to generate anything of real substance to counter them. It was a goal from Nick Leddy to make it a 6-2 game, and the Islanders were looking to find a bit more life, but the Lightning had other ideas—Ondrej Palat put a seventh goal of the night up on them just 45 seconds later. Gourde picked up his second of the night at 13:15, making it a cool eight goal night for the Lightning. They had a couple more chances to extend their lead further, with a couple more chances on the power play (including almost a full two minute 5-on-3), but they couldn’t close on any more. So, mercifully perhaps, the Islanders were able to escape this one without giving up any more. But it really was a strong statement made to start this series by the Lightning.

Final: Tampa Bay 8, New York 2
Series: 1-0 Tampa Bay
SB Nation team perspective: TBL | NYI
Highlights: NHL