UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Trent Hunter was languishing on the fourth line until Arron Asham made a costly mistake that landed him squarely on the New York Islanders' bench.
Hunter took Asham's spot to the right of Michael Peca and Shawn Bates and made the difference in a 5-2 comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.
"That line needed a little jump on that side, and Hunter was just what the doctor ordered," Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. "You don't do good, you don't work hard, you're not going to play."
Stirling punished Asham after the forward committed an error that led to Ruslan Fedotenko's second-period goal.
Hunter responded with a goal and two assists to help Islanders to their first winning streak since they won three straight from Nov. 1-6. Bates also had a goal and two assists, and Peca set up each of his linemates' goals.
"You have to keep your head in the game, and when you get the opportunity you have to take advantage of it," said Hunter, who has 10 goals in his rookie season.
Bates and Hunter also set up Radek Martinek's go-ahead score in the third period. The pair tied it at 2 with goals 2:46 apart late in the second period. Martinek took a cross-the-crease pass from Bates 3:19 into the third and beat Nikolai Khabibulin.
"For us to get two goals late in the period, it turned things around for the team," Hunter said. "We came out flying in the third."
Mark Parrish padded the lead at 8:04, taking a pass from Dave Scatchard and scoring his seventh goal. Jason Blake added an empty-netter with 2.3 seconds left, and Garth Snow made 29 saves for the win.
"We knew they were trying to get back on track, and you can see what happens when a team plays desperate hockey," Lightning forward Dave Andreychuk said.
Tampa Bay started New York's seven-game losing streak that ended Saturday when the Islanders beat Chicago.
"Most important to me is to build on that good feeling they had for the first time in a long time," Stirling said.
Pavel Kubina and Fedotenko scored in the second period for the Lightning, who were looking for their first three-game winning streak since Nov. 14-22. Instead, Tampa Bay lost for the fourth time in six games while playing its fourth game in six nights.
Hunter started New York's comeback when he took a pass from Bates and scored with 4:26 left in the second. He is one goal behind Mariusz Czerkawski for the team lead.
Bates tied it with 1:40 remaining in the period, corralling a puck that bounced through the slot off Hunter's stick and smacking it into the net.
"We gave them goals," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "We gave them two freebies when they were dead in the water."
The Lightning took a 1-0 lead when Kubina scored 20 seconds into a two-man advantage.
Andreychuk, who had goals in each of the Lightning's three previous games, passed the puck to Kubina. He took one stride and sent a shot through traffic that beat Snow at 9:11 of the second.
Fedotenko made it 2-0 just 4:10 later, taking a pass from Brad Richards and snapping a shot while flat-footed at the top of the left circle for his first in 13 games.
"At the start, we were moving the puck real well out of our zone. But as the game went on, they were stronger in their forecheck and caused us problems," Andreychuk said.
Richards has just one goal in 19 games, but had two assists for his fourth multipoint game this season.
Khabibulin made 30 saves.
|PPG - Pavel Kubina (7) ASST: Dave Andreychuk (2), Brad Richards (13)|
1 - 0 TBL
|Ruslan Fedotenko (3) ASST: Brad Richards (14), Martin Cibak (3)|
2 - 0 TBL
|Trent Hunter (10) ASST: Shawn Bates (10), Michael Peca (9)|
2 - 1 TBL
|Shawn Bates (6) ASST: Trent Hunter (5), Michael Peca (10)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Radek Martinek (1) ASST: Shawn Bates (11), Trent Hunter (6)|
3 - 2 NYI
|Mark Parrish (7) ASST: Dave Scatchard (2), Kenny Jonsson (3)|
4 - 2 NYI
|EN - Jason Blake (6) ASST: Adrian Aucoin (15)|
5 - 2 NYI
|Eric Godard Fighting (maj)|
|Chris Dingman Fighting (maj)|
|Pavel Kubina Holding - Obstruction|
|Ruslan Fedotenko Tripping - Obstruction|
|Mattias Weinhandl Holding|
|Adrian Aucoin Holding the stick|
|Dimitri Afanasenkov Too many men/ice - bench|
|Darren Rumble Cross checking|
|Eric Godard Too many men/ice - bench|
|Pavel Kubina Boarding|