Is­lan­ders take com­mand­ing lead vs. Pens

Eberle scores his third goal in as many games

The Buffalo News - - NHL -

Jor­dan Eberle scored his third goal in as many games Sun­day as the New York Is­lan­ders took a com­mand­ing lead in their first-round play­off se­ries with a 4-1 win over the host Pitts­burgh Pen­guins.

Brock Nel­son, Leo Ko­marov and An­ders Lee also scored for the Is­lan­ders, who took a 3-0 lead in the best-of­seven se­ries. New York spot­ted Pitts­burgh a 1-0 lead be­fore net­ting four unan­swered goals.

The Pen­guins, who won the Stan­ley Cup in 2016 and 2017, con­tin­ued to be thwarted by the Is­lan­ders’ sti­fling pres­sure and the play of goal­tender Robin Lehner, who made 25 saves Sun­day.

Gar­rett Wil­son scored for Pitts­burgh, which has got­ten no points the se­ries from Sid­ney Crosby, who had 100 points in the reg­u­lar sea­son, or his line­mate, 40-goal scorer Jake Guentzel.

Goal­tender Matt Murray stopped 32 New York shots.

The Is­lan­ders hold an 11-5 goals edge in the se­ries.

Jack­ets top Light­ning

Goal­tender Sergei Bo­brovsky made 30 saves to lead Colum­bus to a 3-1 win over the vis­it­ing Tampa Bay Light­ning, lift­ing the Blue Jack­ets to a com­mand­ing 3-0 lead in their open­ing-round play­off se­ries.

Cam Atkin­son had a goal and an as­sist, and Matt Duch­ene and Oliver Bjork­strand tal­lied for the Blue Jack­ets, who have won 10 of their last 11 games, in­clud­ing seven of eight to close the reg­u­lar sea­son and earn the sec­ond wild-card spot in the East­ern Con­fer­ence.

Bo­brovsky stopped 16 shots by Tampa Bay in the third pe­riod, as it tried to rally from a 2-0 deficit but couldn’t do so in front of a rau­cous crowd at Na­tion­wide Arena.

On­drej Palat scored a goal, and An­drei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves for the Light­ning, who dropped their third straight game for the first time this sea­son and have lost five con­sec­u­tive play­off games.

Jets blow by Blues

The Blue Jack­ets can close out the se­ries against the Pres­i­dents’ Tro­phy­win­ning club in Game 4 in Colum­bus on Tues­day.

Sec­ond-pe­riod goals four min­utes apart by Kevin Hayes, Pa­trik Laine and Kyle Con­nor sent the Win­nipeg Jets off and run­ning to a 6-3 road vic­tory over the St. Louis Blues on Sun­day night, pulling them right back into the open­ing-round play­off se­ries.

Hav­ing lost the first two games at home, the Jets would be fac­ing long odds if they also dropped Game 3, but they in­stead roared to a vic­tory that leaves them down 2-1 in the best-of­seven Stan­ley Cup play­offs se­ries.

Off the ice

• Toronto Maple Leafs cen­ter Nazem Kadri has been of­fered an in-per­son hear­ing by the NHL De­part­ment of Player Safety fol­low­ing a ma­jor penalty as­sessed Satur­day in Game 2 of a first-round play­off se­ries against the Bos­ton Bru­ins. That’s a sig­nal that Kadri, 28, could be fac­ing a long sus­pen­sion. With 5:57 left in the game, which the Bru­ins won 4-1, Kadri was pe­nal­ized for cross-check­ing Bos­ton for­ward Jake DeBrusk. Ac­cord­ing to the NHL.com, the NHL/NHLPA col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment calls for a player to be of­fered an in-per­son hear­ing if he faces a sus­pen­sion of six games or more.

• The Colorado Avalanche signed 2019 Hobey Baker Award win­ner Cale Makar to a three-year, en­try-level con­tract, the team an­nounced Sun­day The 20-year-old de­fense­man from the Univer­sity of Mas­sachusetts will join the Avalanche im­me­di­ately for their first-round play­off se­ries against the Cal­gary Flames. Makar, the No. 4 over­all pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, just com­pleted his sopho­more sea­son, help­ing the Min­ute­men reach the NCAA Frozen Four ti­tle game in Buf­falo.

• Nikita Gu­sev, the reign­ing MVP of the Kon­ti­nen­tal Hockey League, is join­ing the Ve­gas Golden Knights for their play­off run. He signed a one-year, en­try-level con­tract with the Golden Knights on Sun­day and is ex­pected to prac­tice with the team on Mon­day.

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