Lightning Fall to Islanders in Overtime
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:57 AM
Lecavalier, Prospal, Malone Score
Despite mounting a furious comeback to send the game into overtime, the Tampa Bay Lightning fell to the New York Islanders tonight, 4-3.
The Lightning entered the final period trailing the Islanders by a score of 2-0, but constructed their finest effort to date to roar back , culminating with Ryan Malone
’s first goal of the season with 5:03 remaining to play to tie the game in regulation.
The Lightning fell behind early in the opening period when New York defenseman Freddy Meyer stole the puck from Adam Hall
and sent an outlet pass which launched the Islanders on a 3-2 heading the other way. Winger Kyle Okposo sent a shot on goal which Lightning netminder Olaf Kolzig kicked out but Mike Comrie crashed the net and put the rebound behind Kolzig with just 2:47 gone in the game.
Tampa came close to getting the goal back several times in the period, but their best opportunity came with less than one minute remaining in the period as Vincent Lecavalier
blasted a quick turn-around shot which Islander goalie Joey MacDonald managed to deflect by kicking his right pad out.
The Islanders picked up the attack in the second period, aided by an array of Tampa Bay penalties which saw the Lightning skate shorthanded for almost 5 minutes of the stanza. New York was able to convert on one of their six power play opportunities when, with Andrej Meszaros off for slashing, Doug Weight launched a shot from the point which threaded through traffic to find the back of the net. The score was Weight’s second of the season and closed out the period with New York leading, 2-0.
Throughout the game, the Lightning struggled to maintain momentum while facing man-short situations nine times. The penalty kill unit was sharp, however, killing off all but one shorthanded situation.
While the netminders on both end of the ice held the advantage for the first two periods, in the third, the action and the scoring stepped up.
The Lightning comeback began when Captain Vincent Lecavalier
, launched by a great cross-ice pass by Vaclav Prospal, broke into the Islander zone alone and slipped the puck beneath MacDonald’s pads. The goal was Lecavalier’s second of the season and was also assisted by Andrej Meszaros.
The Lightning kept the pressure on and tied the score at the 12:02 mark when Vaclav Prospal picked up his first goal of the season and his second point of the game with a power play goal. With Islander forward Jon Sim in the penalty box for tripping, Prospal fought through a check in the slot to corral a rebound off the boards and slide the puck past MacDonald.
The Islanders answered quickly, however, when Trent Hunter knocked in a rebound after Kolzig stopped a shot from his left by Jeff Tambellini. Hunter’s goal came just 1:49 seconds after Prospal’s score.
The scoring barrage wasn’t over yet, however, as Malone netted the tying score 1:06 seconds later, with assists from Jussi Jokinen and Jamie Niskala.
When the dust settled, three goals had been scored in 2:55 seconds and the game was headed for overtime.
The 4 on 4 overtime stanza lasted only 51 seconds, however, when Olaf Kolzig, playing the puck behind the Lightning net, shoveled a pass which Frans Nielsen was able to intercept. With Kolzig out of position, Nielsen’s centering pass was grabbed by Trent Hunter and he converted to give the Islanders their second win of the season.
The Lightning picked up a point for the efforts, however; their second overtime loss in as many games. Tampa’s record is now 0-2-2 and they still are looking for their first victory of the season.
Coach Barry Melrose, encouraged by his squad’s third period comeback effort, said, “We just kept doing it and doing it, coming back twice. There was energy on the bench and we were really battling together.”
led both teams with five shots on goal and Paul Ranger, in his first action of the season after recovering from a shoulder injury, logged over 23 minnutes of ice time and led the Lightning with four hits.