Hostile Islanders Ambush Lightning
Tampa Bay Falls to New York, 3-1
The Tampa Bay Lightning head for home tonight, their final extended road trip behind them, punctuated by a 3-1 lost to the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum.
In their previous game on Friday night, Tampa Bay forward Evengy Artyukhin scored on the Lightning’s first shot against New Jersey, but tonight, the Islanders turned the tables when Richard Park put the puck past Lightning netminder Mike McKenna on the New Yorker’s first shot, just 23 seconds after the puck dropped to start the contest.
The Islander one-goal lead held up until late in the second period when Islander defenseman Radek Martinek scored on a power play at 14:52 to open the New York lead to two goals.
Less than two minutes later, the Lightning got one goal back on an extra man opportunity of their own. From the face-off circle to the right of Islander netminder Yann Danis, Steven Stamkos
pushed the puck over to the slot where Matt Pettinger picked it up and beat Danis to his left. Martins Karsums
was awarded an assist on the goal, which was Pettinger’s sixth of the season.
That would prove to be Tampa Bay’s only score of the night, despite thumping away at Danis in the final period with 12 shots on net to only four for the Islanders. One of the four New York shots on net found the twine, however, to re-establish the Islander lead at two goals.
The goal was the second of the night with the extra man advantage for New York, coming at the 9:14 mark of the third period. Islander center Josh Bailey got the goal, beating McKenna over his left shoulder with a shot from the high slot.
Ultimately, the power play opportunities for the Islanders spelled the difference, as they converted two-of-five chances with the extra man. In all, Tampa Bay was whistled for 32 minutes of penalties on the night, the bulk of which were administered to David Koci and Zenon Konopka for fighting. Koci received an additional ten minutes and a game misconduct for his tussle with Mitchell Fritz
in the first period.
Tampa Bay actually outshot the Islanders for the evening, 30 to 21, but Danis stopped 29 of those to key the New York win. Steven Stamkos
led both teams with six shots on net.
The Lightning return home to the St. Pete Times Forum now for their final two home games of the season. Pittsburgh visits on Tuesday followed by the Washington Capitals on Thursday.
Tampa Bay will end the season with one final road adventure, to Atlanta, to face the Thrashers on April 11.
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