Lightning Outwork Islanders Early, Cruise From There
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning focused on defense and it paid off against the New York Islanders.
Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and an assist to help the Lightning stop a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over New York on Thursday night.
“It was about discipline,” Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. “Everybody was on the same page.”
Ryan Malone, Steven Stamkos and Brett Clark also scored for the Lightning. Tampa Bay limited the Islanders to just 17 shots.
“Definitely, that’s the way we want to play,” Lecavalier said. “Last year we were successful because we played like that.”
Tampa Bay reached the Eastern Conference finals last season, losing a seven-game series to Boston.
The Islanders got a goal from Michael Grabner. New York had won three in a row, all coming during a season-opening four-game homestand.
“They outworked us,” New York coach Jack Capuano said. “They had more desperation to their game. They got around our goaltender, and our forwards didn’t get around their goaltender. And to me that was a huge difference in the game, their net presence versus our net presence.”
After allowing five power-play goals in a 7-4 loss to Florida on Monday, the Lightning had just three penalties Thursday, including one as the game ended.
Malone put the Lightning up 1-0 with a rebound power-play goal from the slot with 3:28 left in first. The Lightning outshot New York 14-6 during the period.
“All around we played better … It feels good,” Malone said.
Lecavalier made it 2-0 at 15:14 of the second. Stamkos, playing in his 250th NHL game, extended the lead to 3-0 with 14:35 to go in the third.
“We controlled the puck in their end for the majority of the game,” Stamkos said.
After Grabner cut it 3-1 at 7:55 of the third, Clark scored late in the period.
New York went almost 13 minutes without a shot in the second before Tampa Bay goalie Mathieu Garon stopped a long-range shot by Brian Rolston.
“Overall, we didn’t play very good,” Grabner said. “We didn’t get enough pucks to the net in the first two periods. We’ve got to get better and get back to the little things … Getting the puck to the net from every angle and get 30 or 40 shots every night.”
Garon made three saves on John Tavares in the first. The New York center was held scoreless after picking four points in each of his previous two games,
Marc-Andre Bergeron had an assist, extending his point streak to five games. The Tampa Bay defenseman has six assists and eight points over the stretch.
New York goalie Al Montoya had a modest two-game winning streak end, which included a 34-save performance in a 5-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Oct. 13. He had 26 saves Thursday.
Notes: Islanders G Rick DiPietro (concussion) faced shots in goal and did skating drills during a one-hour morning workout. He resumed practicing this week. … Tampa Bay D Eric Brewer was in the lineup, one day after undergoing an MRI exam for an undisclosed injury. … Rolston played in his 1,191st game, which tied him for 92nd place with Gilbert Perreault and Marc Bergevin. Rolston assisted on Grabner’s goal … Islanders LW Blake Comeau was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)