Capuano ‘good’ after taking puck to face

Jack Capuano says he's fine after being struck in the face by the puck Wednesday night.

"I'm good," the New York Islanders head coach said postgame, according to NHL.com's Nick Cotsonika. "A little bit of a headache, but other than that, it's a good victory for our team."

Capuano was forced to leave the bench before returning late in the third period of the Islanders' 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of their second-round series.

"It's scary, honestly," Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic said. "I'm glad it didn't take his eye out. I think everybody just immediately was, 'Is he OK?'"

Assistant coach Doug Weight took the reins in Capuano's absence, and the head coach said he left the game as a precaution.

"You want to get back out there," Capuano said. "It's unfortunate I got hit there. I had a headache for a little bit. Just wanted to make sure everything was alright."

He was forced to leave with the Islanders leading the Lightning 4-3 in the final frame.

"I've been hit more times I think than when I played. Just fortunately, it caught me at the tip of the nose there and nothing real serious. But again, you're in there. You hear the horn go off. It's a one-goal game. I just … When I went back out there, the guys battled."

Hamonic was happy to see his coach shake it off.

"He's battling," the defenseman said. "Nice to see him come back and healthy."

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Ducks come within inches of tying Game 7

The Anaheim Ducks came oh-so-close to tying Game 7 against the Nashville Predators late in the third period Wednesday night.

Doesn't get much closer than that (unless you're the Minnesota Wild).

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Predators defeat Ducks in Game 7, move on to face Sharks

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustad scored in the first period and the Nashville Predators hung on to win the franchise's first Game 7, advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.

Pekka Rinne made 36 saves for the wild-card Predators, who rallied from a 3-2 series deficit and ousted the Pacific Division champion Ducks with a gritty road victory. Nashville earned just the third playoff series victory in team history - the first since 2012, and the second over Anaheim.

Nashville will travel up the California coast to face the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.

For the fourth consecutive season, the Ducks blew a 3-2 series lead and lost a Game 7 at home.

Frederik Andersen made 18 saves and Ryan Kesler scored a power-play goal early in the third period for the Ducks. They had numerous late chances to tie it while largely dominating the final two periods, but a redirected shot clanked off Rinne's post in the final minutes, and nothing went in during a frantic final minute.

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Watch: Red-hot Kesler buries one-timer to finish perfect tic-tac-toe

Ryan Kesler is on fire.

The veteran Anaheim Ducks forward finished off a pretty tic-tac-toe passing sequence, firing home a one-timer on the power play to cut into the Nashville Predators' lead in Game 7 on Wednesday night.

Kesler scored for the third consecutive game and notched his fourth goal of the series.

(Video courtesy: NHL.com)

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Islanders praise Greiss after strong Game 1 performance

Thomas Greiss continues to make his presence felt for the New York Islanders.

After jumping out to a 4-1 lead, the Islanders escaped with a 5-3 win, much thanks to a 33-save performance from Greiss as the Tampa Bay Lightning tilted the ice for the third period.

Greiss has dazzled thus far in the postseason, posting a 5-2 record with a 1.94 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage. His teammates have taken notice.

"You don't want to rely on him as much as we had to, but he's been fantastic," said Islanders forward Ryan Strome.

Kyle Okposo knows the outcome of Game 1 could have been much different if it weren't for his netminder.

"They made a good push," Okposo said. "But Greisser stood tall and as a team we were able to weather the storm."

Game 2 goes Saturday afternoon in Tampa Bay.

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Cooper: Lightning ‘way too soft’ in Game 1 loss

Jon Cooper called out his team for a lack of toughness after the Tampa Bay Lightning allowed a pair of late first-period goals and dropped Game 1 of their second-round series against the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.

The Lightning head coach said the game was lost in the final two minutes of the opening frame, that his club was "too soft" during that stretch, and the breakdown was "inexcusable," according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.

Islanders forward Shane Prince scored twice in a span of 2:29 to give New York a 3-1 lead before the intermission. Prince's second goal came with 2.1 seconds left in the period.

Related - Watch: Islanders' Prince strikes twice in less than 3 minutes

The Lightning rallied from a 4-1 deficit to cut the lead to one on Valtteri Filppula's goal with less than three minutes left in the third, but Cal Clutterbuck sealed it with an empty-netter.

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Predators’ Wilson goes backhand shelf to open Game 7 scoring

The Nashville Predators took a bite out of the Anaheim Ducks' playoff hopes by scoring first in Game 7 on Wednesday.

The tally came courtesy of Colin Wilson, who went backhand shelf to beat a sprawling Frederik Andersen.

The goal was Wilson's second of the playoffs.

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Tavares, Prince lead Islanders past Lightning in Game 1

TAMPA, Fla. - Shane Prince scored twice during a three-goal first period and John Tavares had a goal and an assist in the New York Islanders' 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.

Taking up where he left off in helping the Islanders advance beyond the first round for the first time in 23 years, Tavares assisted on Travis Hamonic's goal that erased an early deficit and later scored his sixth postseason goal on a blistering shot from the left circle to give New York a 4-1 lead midway through the second.

The Islanders needed overtime to get three of four victories against the Florida Panthers in the opening round. This one was never seriously in doubt after New York wiped out the 1-0 lead Tampa Bay took on Ondrel Palat's goal just over three minutes into the game.

Tampa Bay pulled to 4-3 on third-period goals by Nikita Kucherov and Valtteri Filppula before Cal Clutterbuck's empty-netter sealed the victory in the final minute.

Thomas Greiss, who won one game in overtime and two in double overtime against Florida, finished with 33 saves for the Islanders. They were outshot 28-10 over the last two periods.

Game 2 is Saturday at Amalie Arena.

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop was superb in allowing no more than two goals in any of Tampa Bay's five games against Detroit in the opening round, but he yielded four in 13 shots to the Islanders before replaced by Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Tampa Bay entered the series following a six-day layoff, but the benefit of the extended rest was debatable after the Islanders overcame the early deficit to take a two-goal lead into the first intermission.

Prince scored twice in the final 2:32 of the opening period, camping out alone in front of the net to deflect a pass from Strome through Bishop at 17:28 and beating the Vezina Trophy finalist again with a wrist shot from the right circle with 2.1 seconds remaining .

New York built the 3-1 lead despite failing to take advantage of its first two power play opportunities. Given a third chance with a man-advantage, the Islanders struck with Tavares to make it 4-1.

That ended Bishop's night.

Notes: Islanders coach Jack Capuano took a puck to the face during the third period, but returned to the bench before the end of the game. ... The Islanders' three-goal opening period ended Bishop's streak of allowing two or fewer goals in eight consecutive playoff games, dating to last year. New York C Josh Bailey did not play after leaving the team's first-round clinching victory with an upper body injury. ... The Lightning are still without injured captain Steven Stamkos, D Anton Stralman and RW J.T. Brown.

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