The New York Islanders were on the wrong end of a 6-1 score on Tuesday night, falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning at Barclays Center.
It just wasn't the Islanders night, as everything from a major penalty, to a bad kick off the glass, to a pair of power-play goals went against them. Dennis Seidenberg's third of the season and a successful coaches challenge were the two exceptions.
"We took the penalty and it just snowballed," head coach Jack Capuano said. "We gave up the two power-play goals and gave up a shorthanded goal and probably could have given up another shorthanded on the breakaway. Special teams was a huge factor in tonight's game for me."
The snowball effect started with Calvin de Haan's major penalty - officially called interference for a hit on Jonathan Drouin - which set in motion a host of penalties that led to both a 4-on-3 and 5-on-3 power play for Tampa Bay, as well as an extended 5-on-4 kill for the Islanders.
The Lightning took advantage, as Nikita Kucherov (2G, 2A) opened the scoring on a 4-on-3 power play, one-timing a Steven Stamkos feed past Thomas Greiss at 3:21. Tampa nearly scored a second on the major penalty, but the Islanders successfully challenged the would-be Stamkos goal on offside, keeping the game 1-0.
Video: TBL@NYI: Seidenberg nets one-timer from the point
But unlike the Islanders' challenge against Florida in last year's playoffs, Tuesday's didn't turn the momentum of the period. Kucherov beat Greiss short side his second power-play goal of the period at 12:18, while Stamkos finished a tap-in play from Slater Koekkoek at 13:34 to make it 3-0. The third goal prompted the Islanders to put Jaroslav Halak in goal.
"Arguably the best power play in the league and they got two early on us," John Tavares said. "They have their top two or three lines going out there touching the puck 10 or 12 times in the first seven or eight minutes and some of our guys didn't play a shift yet, so you get out there and you're stone cold trying to get our game going. It just spiraled down from there. They got a third and that really put us behind the eight ball."
The Lightning kept coming in the second period, with Brian Boyle, J.T. Brown and Valtteri Filppula extending the deficit to 6-0. Boyle beat Halak up high with a backhander in tight, Brown was sprung on a shorthanded breakaway by a wide shot that kicked off the glass and into the middle of the ice and Filppula's was a deflection that bounced off an Islander in a netfront pile and in.
Seidenberg put the Islanders on the board with 30 seconds to play in the second period, ending Ben Bishop's shutout bid. Seidenberg's goal also marked the sixth straight game an Islanders defenseman scored, the longest streak in the last 29 years.
The teams played a scoreless third period. Greiss finished with eight saves to Halak's 22, while Ben Bishop made 26 saves in the win.
"You always try to learn from it, but it's a long season and we have a lot of games coming up," Tavares said. "We just have to put it behind us, get better tomorrow and be ready to play Thursday."
The Islanders are back in action on Thursday night when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at Barclays Center. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.