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Lightning dominate with 8-2 victory to open Eastern Conference Final

Whichever team wins in the best-of-seven series will advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
Credit: AP
Tampa Bay Lightning's Victor Hedman (77), Brayden Point (21), Ondrej Palat (18) and Alex Killorn (17) celebrate a goal during second-period NHL Eastern Conference final playoff game action against the New York Islanders in Edmonton, Alberta, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

TAMPA, Fla. — The Bolts took an Eastern Conference Final lead with a dominating victory Monday night.

Tampa Bay put up eight goals against the New York Islanders to open the series during a night of nonstop action from start to finish.

Brayden Point started the scoring early in the first period with his first of two goals on the evening.

Jordan Eberle would briefly tie the game at 1-1 just three minutes after Point's goal. But Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh answered quickly with goals of their own. The Lightning left the ice after the first period with a 3-1 lead.

Yanni Gourde, who also had two goals Monday night, widened Tampa Bay's lead in the second period to make it 4-1. Point made it 5-1 later in the period for his second of the game.

Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Gourde rounded out the eight-goal effort during the third period. The Islanders tacked on one more in the third by a goal from Nick Leddy.

Kucherov's goal, which made it 6-1, was a historic one. 

According to the Lightning, the goal made him the team's all-time playoff goals leader. His history-making night ended with four assists to go along with the goal.

Kucherov and Point each had five points in the game.

Tampa Bay and New York will face off again in Game 2 on Wednesday night at 8 p.m.

Here's how Game 1 played out:

10:40 p.m.

The Lightning win!

10:29 p.m.

Gourde gets another. The Lightning won't stop. 8-2.

10:25 p.m.

The Lightning immediately answer to make it 7-2. 

10:21 p.m.

Islanders get one back. 6-2.

10:19 p.m.

The Lightning are on a roll. Nikita Kucherov keeps the scoring going in the third period and the Bolts now lead 6-1. According to the Lightning, the goal makes Kucherov the team's all-time playoff goals leader.

9:47 p.m.

After two periods, the Lightning are in complete control with a 5-1 lead.

9:34 p.m.

Brayden Point gets his second of the game and the Lightning have a commanding 5-1 lead in the second!

9:13 p.m.

Yanni Gourde barely sneaks one past the goal line to make it 4-1 Lightning in the second period.

8:50 p.m.

Offense was the story of the first period. Goals from McDonagh, Hedman and Point make it 3-1 Lightning after one period of play.

8:33 p.m.

Ryan McDonagh makes it 3-1 Lightning. We're only in the first period. Still lots of hockey left. 

8:29 p.m.

Victor Hedman puts the Lightning back on top with a power play goal from the point! It's 2-1 in the first period.

8:20 p.m.

We're tied once more. It's 1-1 in the first period after a power play goal from Jordan Eberle of the Islanders. 

8:15 p.m.

Brayden Point gets the Lightning on the board early with his seventh goal of the postseason. 1-0 in the first period.

8:10 p.m.

The puck has dropped and the Eastern Conference Final is underway!

Here's the full schedule:

  • Game 1: 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7
  • Game 2: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9
  • Game 3: 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11
  • Game 4: 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13
  • *Game 5: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15
  • *Game 6: 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17
  • *Game 7: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19

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