Wednesday's NHL playoffs: Penguins, Panthers eliminated as Islanders, Lightning move on

Associated Press

Uniondale, N.Y. — Brock Nelson scored twice in New York's three-goal second period and the Islanders advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 on Wednesday night.

New York Islanders' Brock Nelson celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal as Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) skates past them during the second period of Game 6.

The Islanders will face Boston in the next round, and fans chanted “We want Bos-ton! We want Bos-ton!” in the closing minutes.

Anthony Beauvillier had a goal and two assists, and Kyle Palmieri and Ryan Pulock also scored to help the Islanders beat the top-seeded Penguins in the first round for the second time in three years. Josh Bailey and Jean-Gabriel Pageau each had two assists.

Ilya Sorokin stopped 34 shots to move to 4-0 with a 1.95 goals-against average in the series. He had seven saves in the first period, 15 in the second and 12 in the third to finish with 150 in his four starts.

Jason Zucker had a goal and an assist, and Jeff Carter and Jake Guentzel also scored for Pittsburgh. Tristan Jarry made 19 saves.

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The Penguins outshot the Islanders 12-5 in the third period, and pulled Jarry for an extra skater with about 1:15 left but couldn't break through New York's stifling defense.

Zucker put the Penguins ahead 3=2 with their third lead of the game as he tipped a point shot by Evgeni Malkin past Sorokin at 1:53 of the second period.

The Islanders then took the lead with two goals 13 seconds apart. They tied it at 8:35 as Beauvillier brought the puck up the ice, pass to Josh Bailey on the right side. Bailey sent a cross-ice laser pass to Nelson on the left side and he quickly beat Jarry.

Off a faceoff in the right circle in the offensive zone, Pageau sent the puck back to Pulock at the right point and he fired a slap shot through traffic past Jarry to give New York its first lead of the night.

The Islanders made it 5-3 less than 3 minutes later as Beauvillier brought the puck up the middle, dropped a pass back to Nelson, who fired it past Jarry for his second of the night with 8:26 left in the middle period to draw a thunderous roar from the crowd.

The Penguins got on the scoreboard first, just 1:27 into the game. On a rush, Kasperi Kapanen found Carter streaking up the middle and he beat Sorokin through the five-hole for his fourth of the series.

Beauvillier, who was beaten up the ice by Carter on his goal, tied it for New York at 5:16 as he got ahead of Sidney Crosby, got a pass from Nelson and put a backhander up over Jarry on the glove side for his third of the series. The goal sent the Nassau Coliseum crowd into a frenzy followed by mocking chants of “Cros-by!” and “Jar-ry!”

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Pittsburgh regained the lead on a power play as Guentzel got a pass from Kris Letang in frunt and spun and fired a shot that deflected off Islanders defenseman Pulock and past Sorokin for his first of the series with 8:48 remaining in the first.

The Islanders tied it again 1:13 later. After a turnover by the Penguins, Pageau brought the puck into the offensive zone and fired a shot from the right point. Jarry made the stop but the puck deflected to the left side and Palmieri, who had the overtime winner in Game 1, quickly put it in.

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Lightning 4, Panthers 0: Andrei Vasilevskiy wrapped up a series with a Game 6 shutout for the second straight time, stopping 29 shots in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 4-0 victory over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night.

Vasilevskiy also shut out the Dallas Stars last year to win the Stanley Cup.

The Lightning advanced to face the Carolina-Nashville winner in the second round. Tampa Bay advanced to the second round for the fifth time in the past seven years.

The Panthers have not won a playoff series since the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals.

Steven Stamkos scored his third goal of the series and Pat Maroon added his first. Brayden Point added his fourth of the series in the third period and Alex Killorn had an empty-net goal with 1:42 left.

Rookie Spencer Knight, back in net for Florida after his strong playoff debut in Game 5, finished with 20 saves.

Wild 3, Golden Knights 0: Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist in the third period to break open a scoreless game, Cam Talbot had his second shutout of the series and the Minnesota Wild again staved off elimination with a 3-0 victory over Vegas on Wednesday night.

The first-round series moves back to Las Vegas for the decisive Game 7 on Friday night. The Colorado Avalanche, who tied the Golden Knights for the best regular-season record in the NHL, await after sweeping the St. Louis Blues.

Ryan Hartman scored first and Nick Bjugstad tacked on the last goal in support of Talbot, who made 23 stops. He had 38 saves Monday night to help the Wild steal Game 5 while being outshot 40-14.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 21 stops, gave up three goals for the second straight game after allowing only four scores over the first four games.