Matt Duchene had a goal and three assists as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the host Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 Friday night, taking a stunning 2-0 lead in an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
Tampa Bay lost each of the first two games of the best-of-seven series at home after tying the NHL single-season record for wins (62). Nikita Kucherov, who led the NHL with 128 points this season, was held pointless and had just three shots on goal.
Kucherov’s frustration was apparent, as he was assessed a minor penalty for tripping, a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for an incident involving Columbus’ Markus Nutivaara with 4:26 remaining.
The Lightning star will have a hearing Saturday with the NHL’s department of player safety to discuss that hit. Per the NHL, boarding is the grounds on which the league is considering additional discipline — which could include a suspension.
Islanders 3, Penguins 1
Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey scored fewer than four minutes apart in the third period of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals for New York, which beat Pittsburgh in Uniondale, N.Y.
The Islanders, who have home-ice advantage for the first time since 1988, hold a 2-0 series lead for the first time since they swept the Edmonton Oilers in the 1983 Stanley Cup. Among NHL, NBA and MLB teams, only baseball’s Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates have gone longer without holding a 2-0 series lead.
The Penguins are down 0-2 in a series for the first time since being swept by the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Eastern Conference finals.
Blues 4, Jets 3
Ryan O’Reilly’s early-third-period goal was the game-winner as visiting St. Louis beat Winnipeg to claim both road games in the Manitoba capital and stake a 2-0 lead in their opening-round Western Conference playoff series.
With the score tied in the third period in a back-and-forth affair, O’Reilly raced up the ice and used the defenseman as a screen when he shot from the right faceoff dot and hit the mark on the stick side at the 3:46 mark of the final frame. Taking a lead for the third time was the charm for the Blues.
Oskar Sundqvist scored twice for St. Louis, which also got a goal from Patrick Maroon. Patrik Laine, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler scored for Winnipeg.
Knights 5, Sharks 3
Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist, and William Karlsson and Colin Miller each scored short-handed goals to lead Vegas past host San Jose to even their first-round Western Conference playoff series at 1-1.
Mark Stone and Cody Eakin also scored goals, and Paul Stastny added two assists for Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 34 saves for his 76th career playoff win, one behind Mike Vernon for seventh all-time.
Logan Couture had a goal and an assist, Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl also scored goals, and Erik Karlsson had two assists for San Jose, which finished just 1-for-8 on the power play. Aaron Dell, who replaced Martin Jones at the 6:39 mark of the first period, wound up with 14 saves.
—Field Level Media