Islanders look to quickly turn page on ugly loss
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.”