BOLTS END ROAD TRIP, DROP 4-0 DECISION TO ISLES
UNIONDALE, N.Y. – As the Tampa Bay Lightning looked to bounce back from a tough stretch, a couple of unlucky bounces and a pair of shots off the crossbar turned into a 4-0 loss against the New York Islanders.
Closing out a three-game road trip, the Lightning faced off against the Islanders for the first time this season. Four different players connected in the contest to give New York their first win against Tampa Bay in more than two seasons.
Playing in his first game of the season, Andreas Karlsson tried to get the Lightning on the board early in the contest. After crossing the blueline, Karlsson fed Michel Ouellet with a pass for a one-time attempt.
Collecting the rebound from his shot, Ouellet quickly passed to puck to Craig MacDonald behind the net. MacDonald forwarded a pass to Karlsson for another shot in front, but goaltender Rick DiPietro held on for the save.
Moments later, with Jan Hlavac in the box for slashing, Lightning netminder Marc Denis made a pair of strong saves. Off the opening faceoff of the power play Denis denied a Bill Guerin slapshot through traffic. Marc-Andre Bergeron later fired a puck through traffic from the right point, but Denis closed in on the shot to keep Trent Hunter from banging in a rebound.
Shortly after Brad Richards and Hlavac combined for a strong chance against DiPietro. Richards carried the puck into the zone and made an open pass to Hlavac as he cut in to the deep slot. Leaning into the shot Hlavac put a wide open wrister on DiPietro, but the Islanders goalie came up with a big glove save.
Held off the board earlier in the contest, Guerin connected to open the scoring for New York at 13:29 of the first period. While skating down the right side Guerin controlled a rolling puck to slap a shot on Denis. The puck slipped through the five hole for the score.
Looking for his second goal of the season, Miroslav Satan added a chance late in the period. With Brad Lukowich trying to break up the play, Satan skated in on a breakaway. As he tried to move to the backhand Denis got his left leg out for a toe save at the side of the net.
Tampa Bay responded with their own scoring attempt when Vincent Lecavalier
made a pass to Jason Ward at the side of the net. Unable to settle the puck, Ward’s shot sailed wide of the net as DiPietro slid to make the save.
On a Lightning power play early in the second period, the Islanders had a strong shorthanded chance saved by defenseman Dan Boyle. Skating through the defensive zone, Andy Hilbert carried the puck around the net looking for a wraparound attempt. The puck slid out towards Ruslan Fedotenko, but as the former Tampa Bay forward tried to get a swipe at the puck Boyle dove through the crease to make a stick save.
Despite the save, the Islanders took a 2-0 lead on Josef Vasicek’s fourth goal of the season. As Richard Park skated towards the back of the net he fed Satan for a point blank shot. Vasicek got his stick on the rebound to direct the puck into the open side of the net.
Working to cut the lead in half, Lecavalier responded by setting up Filip Kuba with a pass from behind the net. Positioned in the slot Kuba fired the puck but it went high over DiPietro.
The Islanders went on to close the period with a three-goal lead as Fedotenko connected with 48 seconds remaining in the frame. Although Denis made the initial save on a Mike Comrie shot, Fedotenko jumped into the play to shoot the rebound into the net.
Skating with the lead the Islanders began the third period on the power play. Early in the man advantage Chris Campoli took a slap shot from the right side boards that changed directions off Paul Ranger. Denis made the glove save on the play before keeping Campoli off the board a second time.
Nearing the end of the roughing penalty to Andre Roy, Campoli added another strong shot from the opposite side of the ice. As Trent Hunter looked for the deflection Denis made a right pad save. Hunter connected on his next attempt however, connecting after Denis got a piece of a shot by defenseman Andy Sutton that fell into the crease.
Shortly after his score Hunter was assessed a penalty for hooking and the Lightning got to work on the man advantage. After St. Louis fought for the puck in the corner he forwarded it to Lecavalier who found Richards open at the right point. DiPietro got a pad on Richards’ shot but the rebound bounced out to Boyle whose wrist shot from the slot rang off the cross bar.
Minutes later Ranger also hit the post, firing a slap shot as he skated into the zone. Getting the puck past Brendan Witt and beating DiPietro to the stick side, Ranger’s slap shot clanged off the post.
New York out-shot the Islanders 32-28 in the contest with DiPietro earning his 12th career shutout. Denis made 28 saves in his second start of the season.
Tampa Bay returns to the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday, November 3 (7:30p.m., Sun Sports, 620 WDAE) to face off against the Atlanta Thrashers. As the Lightning make a quick one-game stop at the Times Forum, they will look to improve to 6-0-1 at home this season.
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