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Penguins, goalie Tristan Jarry hold off Islanders, even NHL playoff series

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) and center Frederick Gaudreau (11) celebrate following their 2-1 win against the New York Islanders in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs series Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) and center Frederick Gaudreau (11) celebrate following their 2-1 win against the New York Islanders in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs series Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

May 19 (UPI) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins scored twice in the first period and netminder Tristan Jarry stymied the New York Islanders down the stretch in Game 2 to even the Stanley Cup Playoff series at 1-1.

Right wing Bryan Rust and center Jeff Carter scored for the Penguins in the 2-1 win Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Jarry saved 37 of 38 shots to secure the Penguins victory in the first-round matchup.

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"I'm just trying to stop every puck that comes at me, put my best foot forward and get in the way," Jarry told reporters.

"That's all I could do and that's what I'm trying to do every night."

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Rust capitalized off poor puck control by the Islanders defense for the game's first score. The Penguins winger recovered the puck, which was turned over near the Islanders blue line. He then skated toward the right flank.

Rust finished the play with a wicked wrister into the top right corner of the net past Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov about 3:22 into the game.

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The Penguins doubled the lead about 10 minutes later. Penguins right wing Kasperi Kapanen recovered the puck to the left of the goal to spark that sequence. He then passed to his right and found left wing Jared McCann.

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McCann fired a quick pass from behind the goal and found Carter as he skated toward the left post. Carter finished that play with a wrap-around wrist shot past Varlamov.

The Penguins carried the 2-0 lead into the second period. Josh Bailey cut the deficit in half with about five minutes remaining in the bridge frame.

Bailey recovered a loose puck near the left circle in front of the Penguins goal at the start of that play. The Islanders right wing then completed a quick give-and-go pass sequence with center Brock Nelson.

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Bailey followed that exchange with a skate down the left flank. He then cut right and used a backhanded flick to beat Jarry on his glove side.

Jarry and Varlamov stonewalled several stellar shot attempts through the end of the second period and the entire third period. Varlamov saved 43 of 45 Penguins shot attempts.

"We are just trying to get to our game as fast as we can," Rust told reporters. "We want to get out there and have a good start, create some momentum."

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The Islanders host the Penguins in Game 3 at 7 p.m. EDT Thursday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. The winner of the Eastern Conference series faces the Washington Capitals or Boston Bruins in the second round. That series is tied 1-1.

The Tampa Bay Lightning also won Tuesday to move to 2-0 in their series against the Florida Panthers. The Vegas Golden Knights beat the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Tuesday to tie that series at 1-1.

The Bruins host the Capitals in Game 3 at 6:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday on NBCSN. The Carolina Hurricanes (1-0) host the Nashville Predators (0-1) at 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday on CNBC. The Colorado Avalanche (1-0) host the St. Louis Blues (0-1) in another Game 2 at 10:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday at CNBC.

The Edmonton Oilers host the Winnipeg Jets in Game 1 of their series at 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday on NBCSN.

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