Lightning (1-0-0, 2 Points) at Islanders (0-1-0, 0 Points)
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It’s the first of three meetings between the clubs, and the first of two to be played on Long Island this season. Last year, the two teams split the season series, winning a pair of games each, with the winning team scoring at least four goals in each victory.
Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier is expected to appear in his 1,000th career game on Monday afternoon, which would render him just the 49th player in NHL history to reach the milestone with one team. The first overall selection of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the Lightning, Lecavalier has recorded 374 goals and 844 points in 999 career games, all in a Bolts sweater.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay will compete in its first road contest of the year, as well as its first pair of games on consecutive nights, as the Lightning conclude the back-to-back set on Tuesday at Carolina. The Bolts got off to a hot start in the season-opener, defeating the division-rival Capitals 6-3 on Saturday night, to gain some momentum heading into the road trip. Martin St. Louis and Eric Brewer each scored twice, while Vincent Lecavalier added a goal, as did Cory Conacher, who became the sixth player in team history to score his first career goal in his NHL debut. The Bolts also got 27 saves from Anders Lindback in his team debut, while the power play converted on three of seven chances throughout the night.
“You could feel the chemistry on the bench and in the room,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. “Credit to the players. When we were off, they trained. We didn’t have to start from scratch.”
ISLANDERS – New York wraps up the final game of its two-game home set before traveling to Toronto to kick off a five-game road trip. Things didn’t go as planned on Saturday night, as the Islanders fell to the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on home ice, although in a strong effort. Down a goal heading into the final 20 minutes, Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic tied the game at one apiece early on in the third period while on the power play, but the team couldn’t hang on long enough to force overtime. After Travis Zajac put New Jersey’s first goal on the board earlier in the contest, David Clarkson pulled the Devils ahead with what would eventually stand as the game-winner at 8:17 of the third to grab the reigning Eastern Conference champs their first win of the season. Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves on the night for New York.
Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell each had three points in Saturday night’s opener, while Eric Brewer had two goals to double his total from last season in just the first game. Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic had the only goal for New York on Saturday, while Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner each had an assist.
Lightning forward Nate Thompson, as well as defensemen Eric Brewer and Marc-Andre Bergeron are all former Islanders. Tampa Bay assistant Dan Lacroix served in the same capacity with New York during the 2006-07 season.
“It was very awesome. I couldn’t have done it without these guys. Obviously the win is more important, so hopefully we can keep this rolling. We have three games in four nights, so it will be important for us to get some rest for our next game.” – Lightning forward Cory Conacher, speaking about his first career NHL goal as well as the team’s road ahead
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