Lightning defeat Islanders in Game 2 of Semifinals, even series

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The Tampa Bay Lightning evened the Stanley Cup Semifinals with a 4-2 win against the New York Islanders in Game 2 at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Tuesday.

Brayden Point scored for a fifth straight game, and Nikita Kucherov had three assists for the Lightning, who have not lost consecutive games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2019 Eastern Conference First Round (11-0). Andrei Vasilevskiy made 24 saves.

Brock Nelson scored, and Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves for the Islanders, who won their previous four games. Ilya Sorokin made six saves in the first period after Varlamov missed the final 6:50 following a collision with Point.

Game 3 of the best-of-7 series is at New York on Thursday.

Ondrej Palat gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead at 13:15 of the second period. Victor Hedman sent a stretch pass to Kucherov, who drew two defenders in the left face-off circle before sending a pass into the slot to Palat for his first goal in nine games.

Vasilevskiy kept the Lightning in front with a left-pad save on Anthony Beauvillier‘s shot from point-blank range with seven seconds remaining in the period.

Jan Rutta scored the first goal by a Tampa Bay defenseman in the playoffs with a shot from the right point at 2:16 of the third period to make it 3-1, and Hedman followed with the second at 9:17 when he scored on the power play to give the Lightning a 4-1 lead.

Mathew Barzal scored his fifth goal in six games with 3:16 remaining for the 4-2 final.

Point made it 1-0 when he roofed Kucherov’s pass at 8:58 of the first period after a turnover by Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech. It was Point’s 10th goal of the playoffs, which leads the NHL.

Varlamov went to the Islanders locker room at 13:10 of the first period after a collision in the crease with Point, who received a minor penalty for goalie interference.

Nelson tied it 1-1 on the ensuing power play at 13:30 after a giveaway by Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh.

Varlamov returned at the start of the second period.

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