Is­landers look to quickly turn page on ugly loss

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Scott Charles

For the Tampa Bay Light­ning, it was the feel-good game they wanted to prove they are one of the elite teams in the East­ern Con­fer­ence. The New York Is­landers just want to for­get about this one.

Nikita Kucherov had two goals and two as­sists, Ben Bishop made 26 saves, and the Light­ning beat the New York Is­landers 6-1 Tues­day night.

Steven Stamkos, Brian Boyle, J.T. Brown, and Valt­teri Filp­pula also scored, and Vic­tor Hed­man and Slater Koekkoek each had two as­sists to help the Light­ning snap a three­game skid and fin­ish a 3-3-0 road trip.

“(Kucherov) is a guy that you want him to have con­fi­dence, you want him to get touches early,” Light­ning cap­tain Stamkos said. “Es­pe­cially com­ing off that lit­tle in­jury he had. You have a game where you get some points, you start feel­ing good about your game, it’s only go­ing to help. He is a huge part of our of­fense, we are glad that he had a good night tonight.”

Den­nis Sei­den­berg scored for the Is­landers, giv­ing them goals by de­fense­men in six straight games. Thomas Greiss started in goal and gave up three goals on 11 shots in the first 13:34. He was re­placed by Jaroslav Halak, who al­lowed three goals in the sec­ond pe­riod and fin­ished with 22 saves.

“Ain’t noth­ing pos­i­tive, it is what it is,” Is­landers cap­tain John Tavares said. “Got to move on, and get ready for Thurs­day (against Philadel­phia) . ... You al­ways try to learn from it. It’s a long sea­son and a lot of games still com­ing up. We just got to put it be­hind us and get bet­ter to­mor­row.”

It was the teams’ first meet­ing since the Light­ning beat the Is­landers in five games in the East­ern Con­fer­ence semi­fi­nals last spring.

Tampa Bay, com­ing off a 6-1 loss at the New York Rangers on Sun­day, got off to a strong start.

Kucherov took a beau­ti­ful cross-ice pass from Stamkos on the power play and beat Greiss on the short side to at 3:21.

Kucherov dou­bled the lead with 7:42 left in the first on a wrist shot from the left face­off dot for an­other power-play score and his third of the sea­son. Stamkos’ tip-in 1:16 later made it 3-0 and chased Greiss.

“I’ve been with this group a lit­tle while now and when they’ve been pushed up against a wall, they usu­ally have push­back,” Light­ning coach Jon Cooper said. “I thought it was just a com­plete ef­fort.”

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