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NHL playoffs: Kyle Palmieri’s OT winner lifts Isles by Penguins in Game 1

New York Islanders' Kyle Palmieri celebrates with Jean-Gabriel Pageau after scoring.
New York Islanders’ Kyle Palmieri (21) celebrates with Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) after scoring during the first period in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
(Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

Kyle Palmieri’s second goal of the game 16:30 into overtime lifted the New York Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of their first-round series Sunday.

Palmieri collected a pass from Jean-Gabriel Pageau near the goal line and lifted it over Tristan Jarry and into the net as New York beat the Penguins for the first time in five tries at PPG Paints Arena this season.

Pageau and Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders. Rookie goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 39 saves in his playoff debut and New York handed Pittsburgh its 10th playoff loss in the franchise’s past 11 postseason games.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.

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Sidney Crosby, Frederick Gaudreau and Kasperi Kapanen scored for the Penguins, but the East Division champions couldn’t capitalize despite controlling play for most of the first two periods. Jarry finished with 37 saves but had issues with his glove side. All four of New York goals sailed over, around or seemingly through Jarry’s left arm.

The Islanders came in on their heels after finishing the regular season in a 6-6-3 funk, with none of the victories coming against playoff qualifiers. They appeared to have the advantage in net until veteran Semyon Varlamov was scratched, making Sorokin just the second rookie goaltender in Islanders’ history to start the opening game of the postseason.

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The 25-year-old Russian appeared a little shaky early. Palmieri gave the Islanders the early lead with a wrist shot from the right circle that Jarry couldn’t snag.

Gaudreau tied it 11:10 into the first when he collected a rebound off his own shot and ripped it by Sorokin.

Crosby then picked up his 69th career playoff goal — and 190th career postseason point — with a sublime deflection in which he fended off New York defenseman Andy Greene and redirected the puck with just the tip of his stick.

The goal — which moved Crosby into a tie with Hall of Famer Brett Hull for seventh on the NHL’s career postseason scoring list — gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead 3:47 into the second. Sorokin responded by settling in and giving his teammates time to collect themselves.

New York eventually found its footing, playing the heavy, thudding game favored by head coach Barry Trotz. The Islanders pinned the Penguins down in their own end and kept firing away at Jarry. Pageau’s wrist shot from the left circle zipped over Jarry’s glove 3:33 into the third to tie it and when Nelson fluttered the puck by Jarry, the Islanders appeared ready to steal the series opener.

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Kapanen, however, responded less than a minute later. His fifth career playoff goal with 3:39 remaining shook the Penguins out of their doldrums and forced the extra period.

The teams traded chances for most of overtime until Palmieri found room down low to end the longest-ever playoff game between the two teams.

Minnesota Wild 1, Vegas Golden Knights 0

Joel Eriksson Ek’s goal at 3:20 of overtime lifted Minnesota past Vegas in Game 1 of their first-round series.

Wild goaltender Cam Talbot stopped all 42 shots he faced.

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Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury, the first goalie in NHL history to play in 15 consecutive postseasons, made 29 saves.

After Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo failed to clear the puck, Eriksson Ek was in the slot to send a shot that went off the skate of Golden Knights defender Alec Martinez and past Fleury.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

Between hitting, skating, a torrid pace, spectacular goaltending — regulation had everything but scoring.

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With 8,683 frenzied fans in attendance to create the loudest atmosphere of the season, an intense first period saw the Golden Knights outshoot the Wild 19-5 and both teams staying aggressive on the forecheck and in the hitting department. Minnesota outhit Vegas 25-23 in the opening period. Talbot got some help from his skaters, too, as they registered 11 blocked shots to help keep the game scoreless.

After falling short in overall shot attempts in the first period — Vegas had a total of 38 to Minnesota’s nine — the Wild flipped the script and did a much better job of turning pucks over, creating breakouts and getting better looks while keeping the Knights locked in their own zone. Fleury was busy in making some of his trademark glove-flashing windmill saves.

Though the Golden Knights were up 30-18 in shots after the second period, the three best saves to that point were by Fleury, who carried his momentum into the third period with several more saves, mostly against Ryan Hartman, who finished with several high-quality scoring chances.


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