By Abigail Hope



The TB Lightning fell to the NY Islanders by the count of 2-1 on Sunday afternoon, in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals at Amalie Arena. Matthew Barzal and Ryan Pulock found the back of the net despite Vasilevskiy’s best efforts making 29 out of 31 stops.

The action started in the first eight seconds of the game with unsportsmanlike penalties against both teams.  The Islanders were probably still bitter from being sent home by the Bolts in last year’s playoff bubble. Both teams played 4 on 4 for the first two minutes of the game, and then the Islanders had two power-play opportunities in the opening period but Tampa Bay would kill off both penalties.

The Islanders came ready to take care of unfinished business, and the Bolts came out slow and were not able to make necessary adjustments to beat the Islanders’ defense. The first period was scoreless and it was not until 12:32 in the second period that Barzal scored first off the assist from Josh Bailey. Another goal would come from Pulock with 5:36 left in the third period to secure the lead for the Isles. Brayden Point has shown up for Tampa when we needed him most and he did so again when he scored off a power play with just under a minute left in the game to prevent the shutout.  Still, their efforts were too little and too late and the Isles took a 1-0 series lead.


Consider yourself lucky if you watched the game from Amalie Arena; there are few things quite as exciting as playoff hockey at home. If you aren’t able to score a ticket to the next game, consider watching it at Sparkman’s Wharf in Channelside. There are over ten different food truck dining options, the home team on the big screen, and a dog-friendly lawn to hang out, play cornhole, maybe even grab a beer in between periods. The food truck variety is plentiful, with options for all dietary restrictions and interests. The energy on the lawn is electric, after all, Amalie is just around the corner and the excitement from the arena feeds throughout the city.

Tampa Bay may not have come out on top, but watching the game here proved that the community has all the faith that TB will bounce back in Game 2 on Tuesday.

Gallito has mouthwatering tacos, like the Carne Asada and Chicken Tinga, and great street corn, queso, and chips.

I’d also vouch for The Naked Farmers “Local Farmer” bowl for vegetarian options.

Or if you’re like me, and you crave sweets, Jenni’s ice cream is the best ever, and that comes from an avid ice cream connoisseur.   Plus, they have non-dairy options!

Murph’s Barbeque is where we grabbed our to-go food this time, and another spot I would highly recommend. The homemade barbeque sauce, “Carolina Gold” + pulled pork tasted even better than it looks below.