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What rust? Lightning ride early lead past Islanders in Game 1

By Diana C. Nearhos, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Hockey

The Lightning had six days to sit around between games. The Islanders only had one, and it was a travel day. Coach Jon Cooper said he was more concerned with rest than rust and the Lightning backed him up.

Brayden Point scored the game's first goal 74 seconds in Monday night. Then Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh added two more just 2:34 apart, and the Lightning had a two-goal lead midway through the period. They piled onto that lead to win Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final 8-2 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

No rust here. The Lightning set a tone for the series. Aside from taking six penalties, they played the game they want to.

The skill was on prime display, highlighted by a beautiful play from Hedman and Point in the second period. Hedman perfectly placed a pass to Point at the backdoor and he re-directed the puck out of mid-air. The Lightning didn't sit back to protect the lead, they kept scoring, but they didn't take big risks to do so.

 

That's the game this team talked about playing all season. It's the game they wanted to put on display in the playoffs.

The Lightning used their time off to recover physically from a tough series against Boston. It was only five games but featured three periods of overtime. They took two days off the ice, then got to practicing. Those sessions were up-tempo, but no battling.

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