Tampa Bay Lightning Power Play Topples Islanders In Second Meeting

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

23. Final. 1. 106. 4

The Tampa Bay Lightning power play comes alive as the Lightning defeat the New York Islanders 4-1 in their second meeting of the 2016-17 season.

The Tampa Bay Lightning suffered a disappointing 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Monday night at the BB&T Center in Estero. Tonight, the Lightning needed to shake off the loss and prepare themselves to get back to business tonight as they traveled home to the Amalie Arena to take on the New York Islanders.

The last time these two teams met, the Lightning made short work of the Islanders. The question at the front of the minds of Lightning fans is whether or not the team would be able to make a repeat performance at the Amalie Arena in front of their hometown fans.

Thankfully for the Lightning faithful, the Tampa Bay Lightning charged into the Amalie Arena tonight ready to play some hockey. When the Islanders opened the door, the Lightning slammed it firmly behind them.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

Let’s take a trip back to the first period and take a closer look at how things played out in the Bolts Nation tonight this fine November evening.

The Tampa Bay Lightning got off to a good start in their second meeting of the season with the New York Islanders. Both the Lightning and the Isles fought through the opening moments of the period, but the Islanders would soon expose the crack that would spiderweb into a crushing defeat.

At 6:38 in the first period, Islanders captain John Tavares would find himself with a one-way ticket to the sin bin for elbowing Alex Killorn. This opened the door for the Lightning to strike. Normally, we are the first people to call out the team for overpassing the puck. Ironically enough, this time it paid off for the Bolts.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos would use his tremendous puck handling skills to beat the Islanders defense, as well as Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak, and put the puck in the back of the net giving the Lightning the early lead.

Just three minutes later, the Lightning would continue their onslaught against the Islanders. This time, it would be Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov who would put the puck past Halak to give the Bolts a 2-0 lead over the Isles. The assists on the Kucherov goal would be accredited to Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos.

Speaking of Victor Hedman, Hedman’s assist on Nikita Kucherov’ goal was number 188 for the Swedish defenseman. This is a new franchise record for the Tampa Bay Lightning in terms of Assists by a Defenseman. Hedman is one of the most valuable assets the Lightning have. Thankfully, he’ll be here for many seasons to come.

As the time on the clock continued to tick off the clock, the Islanders would attempt to make their way to the scoresheet. Unfortunately for the Islanders, they wouldn’t be able to get anything past the sprawling reach of Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy.

When the final buzzer sounded to end the first period of play, the Lightning outshot the Islanders 10-9. While the Lightning may not have blown away the Isles in terms of shots on goal in the first, but the Lightning’s Power Play would help lead the way for the Bolts.

The Tampa Bay Lightning wasted no time in getting things started in the second period. At 2:17 in the second period, Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan would make his way to the penalty box for interference against Lightning forward Cedric Paquette.

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The Islanders penalty would once again open the door for the Lightning to slam the door in their faces. This time, it would be Tyler Johnson who would put the puck in the back of the net, picking up his fifth goal of the season. Stamkos would pick up his second assist of the night on the Johnson goal alongside Ondrej Palat.

This would be the end of the night for Islanders netminder Jaroslav Halak. Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano would elect to pull Halak and replace him between the pipes with goaltender Thomas Greiss.

Unfortunately, this is where things started to get a little rocky for the Bolts. One bad play let to another and another until eventually the New York Islanders would be able to capitalize on the Lightning’s shortcomings and successfully end the shutout attempt for Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The Islanders goal would come from Andrew Ladd with the lone assist coming from Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk. Thankfully for the Lightning and their fans, this would essentially be the end of the line for the Islanders in terms of scoring.

The second period of play looked substantially different than the first for the Lightning. The New York Islanders outshot the Tampa Bay Lightning 16-7 in the second for a two period total of 25-17 Isles. The Lightning got a little lax in the second, but thankfully, it didn’t cause much of an issue for the Bolts on the scoreboard.

On another note, there is something that happened in the second period we would like to shine a light on. If you remember correctly, it was Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan who was responsible for the injury Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin sustained in the Lightning’s first encounter with the Islanders.

Tonight, de Haan found himself in the penalty box not once, but twice tonight. The second one was on account of an incredibly cheap shot from behind against Nikita Kucherov. While Kucherov was able to make his way back to the bench under his own volition, he looked incredibly shook up after the play.

This is the kind of play the NHL simply cannot afford. It is one thing to pick up the occasional high stick or slashing penalty. It is a whole other story when a player continually makes plays that could potentially injure another player; especially in the fashion Drouin was injured.

We’re pretty certain this is another story we’ll hear a lot more on later. For now, let’s get back to the game.

The third period was yet another period controlled by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Lightning forward Brian Boyle would pick up the lone goal of the third period. Placing himself in the center of the zone, Boyle was able to take a shot at the net, which was slightly deflected by Isles d-man Johnny Boychuk, and into the back of the net.

When the final buzzer would sound, the Tampa Bay Lightning would defeat the New York Islanders by the score of 4-1. This should seem rather familiar to Lightning fans. As we mentioned earlier, the Lightning made short work of the Islanders in the first encounter. The Bolts are just two goals shy of their first performance.

Much like the first period of play, the Lightning would outshoot the Islanders 11-7 for a three period total of 32-28 in the favor of the New York Islanders. While the Islanders outshot the Lightning in tonight’s encounter, the Lightning proved that sometimes quality over quantity is all you need to succeed.

Overall, the Tampa Bay Lightning played a good game tonight. While there were a few bumps in the road, the Lightning continually found a way to get back on track and essentially bring home the victory.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have one day off before they will charge back into the Amalie Arena to take on the San Jose Sharks. San Jose is currently in third place in the Pacific Division. The Sharks are currently 8-6-0 on the season while the Lightning are 8-5-1 and in second place in the Atlantic Division.

Needless to say, both of these teams will be looking to increase their current standing in their division. Being as evenly matched as they are, Lightning fans and Sharks fans alike are going to be in for one heck of a game on Saturday night.

After that, the Lightning will head out on the road again; this time on a five-game road trip that will kick off with the third and final meeting this season between the Lightning and the Islanders. Given the unfortunate things that have transpired over the course of the last few games, this is a series Lightning fans will be happy to end.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning did a much better job tonight against the Islanders than they did on Monday night against the Florida Panthers, but there is still some work to be done. Consistency is going to be key if the Lightning want to continue their winning ways. Only time will tell if they will be able to achieve their goal.