“Game 1, to the Island.”
New York Islanders broadcaster Brendan Burke’s words rang true again two years later on Sunday afternoon as the Isles took Game 1 in overtime 4-3 off the stick of Kyle Palmieri. The victory gave the Islanders a 1-0 series lead heading into Tuesday’s Game 2 in Pittsburgh.
Palmieri took a pass from behind the net from Jean-Gabriel Pageau and fired a tough angle shot that found space above Pittsburgh starter Tristan Jarry’s shoulders and went in.
PALMIERI PIN HOLE SHORTSIDE FOR THE W pic.twitter.com/SJFg6V2zze
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) May 16, 2021
The Islanders’ overtime record against Pittsburgh moves to 4-3 after the win. The game marked the longest ever played between the Islanders and Pittsburgh, according to Eric Hornick.
The New York Islanders were first on the board on Sunday afternoon. Palmieri was able to cut across the ice and then rip a shot from just above the faceoff circle for his first goal of the postseason.
It was his third since being traded to the Islanders in early April.
The Islanders’ lead lasted nearly four minutes before Pittsburgh tied the game at the 11:10 mark. Pittsburgh initially had their first shot blocked by an Islanders defender, but Frederick Gaudreau found the loose puck and put past Sorokin to even the game at one.
Pittsburgh took their first lead of the afternoon 3:47 into the second period. Sidney Crosby deflected the puck one-handed to sneak it past Sorokin to make it 2-1.
The New York Islanders regrouped in the third period and at the 3:33 mark, Pageau evened the score with a blast from just above the faceoff circle. The Isles caught Pittsburgh in a change and allowed Pageau a clear look at the net for the tying goal.
It looked as though Nelson had scored the go-ahead goal at 15:50 when he snuck a shot through the armpit of Tristan Jarry, but Pittsburgh answered back 31 seconds later when Kasperi Kapanen found the back of net to even the score at three.
Game 1 began with a big surprise for the Islanders lineup. Ilya Sorokin was tapped to start the game instead of Semyon Varlamov, who was a scratch on Sunday. Varlamov had practiced the previous two days with the Islanders, but he had left the season finale after the third period on Monday and missed practice Wednesday and Thursday.