The New York Islanders couldn't solve Andrei Vasilevskiy on Monday night, falling 4-0 to the Tampa Bay Lightning at Barclays Center.
Vasilevskiy made 34 saves, as the Islanders suffered their first shutout loss of the season. JT Brown, Ryan Callahan, Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Lightning, who swept the season series from the Islanders.
"We have to find a way to get some offense," head coach Jack Capuano said. "We had eight-to-10 grade-A chances, but we can't find the back of the net right now."
Monday's game started off well enough for the Islanders, who played with some pace offensively, and nearly had the icebreaker on three different occasions during a first-period power play. But the solid period ended on a sour note, as the Lightning scored twice inside the last 1:02, taking a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
Brown struck first, sprung on a breakaway by Cedric Pacquette before beating Jaroslav Halak (27 saves) with a shot stick side. Ryan Callahan doubled the deficit 42 seconds later, doing a flyby through the crease and tipping an Andrej Sustr shot past Halak. Kucherov had another Lightning chance to end the period, putting a shot off the crossbar with under 10 seconds remaining.
"They got a couple of goals and they're a tough team to come from behind against," John Tavares said. "We're just making it tough on ourselves."
The Islanders got into penalty trouble to start the second period, racking up eight penalty minutes in just over half of the period. The shorthanded unit held strong going 5-for-5 on the night, but offered the Islanders limited chances in the offensive zone to close the two-goal gap.
"You give a team like that that many power plays in three games, they are going to feel really good about handling the puck," Cal Clutterbuck said. "Whether they're scoring on their power plays or not, the confidence translates."
As the period wore on, the Lightning's chances turned into goals, with Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov each burying a backdoor feed to make it 4-0 Bolts before the end of the second period.
The Islanders outshot the Lightning 20-4 in the third period, but could not bust Vasilevskiy's shutout.
"You just keep going, keep working, keep trying to find your way out of it," Tavares said. "Obviously we don't want to be in the spot that we're in, but we're not going to quit, we just have to stay positive and stay together. All you can do is get up tomorrow and find a way to get better, work yourself through it."
The Islanders have three days off until they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Travis Hamonic returned to the Islanders' lineup on Monday, skating 21:13 with a shot and three blocks. Hamonic was originally predicted to miss four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury, but returned after nine days, missing only three games… Scott Mayfield, who was recalled from Bridgeport on Monday, skated 6:49 with a fight, dropping the gloves with JT Brown after Brown took a run at John Tavares… The Islanders dressed seven defensemen and 11 forwards for Monday's game.