Three unanswered Islander goals sent the Lightning to a 5-2 loss at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Friday night.
The loss drops the Lightning to 1-2-0 in the first three games of a lengthy five-game road trip that continues next week in Stockholm, Sweden with a pair of games vs. the Sabres.
After a scoreless first 20 minutes, Mathew Barzal opened the scoring five minutes into the second period. Barzal weaved his way through the Lightning defense and fired a shot that just trickled through the gear of Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Tampa Bay battled back to tie the game on a nifty backhander from Yanni Gourde less than three minutes later. Just after time expired on a Lightning power play, Gourde slipped a shot past Thomas Greiss on the shortside to tie the game at one.
The lead wouldn't last as a blast from the point by Ryan Pulock gave the Islanders the lead midway through the second period.
New York put the game away with goals less than two minutes apart to open the third. Josh Bailey and Anders Lee scored goals 1:46 apart to push the Islanders lead up to 4-1.
Ryan McDonagh responded with his first goal of the year to pull the Bolts back within two with less than two minutes to play in regulation but Derick Brassard added an empty net goal to round out the scoring and send the Islanders to their eighth-straight win.
Although the Bolts were shouldered with the loss there were some positives to take away for Tampa Bay.
The Lightning outshot the Islanders 35-26 and were a perfect three-for-three on the penalty kill. Even though the final score looked ugly with the five goals conceded, Tampa Bay did a good job of limiting New York's chances offensively, allowing a pair of goals on unlucky bounces.
Tampa Bay got a bit of good news on the injury front as Erik Cernak returned to action after missing one game with a lower-body injury. Victor Hedman and Pat Maroon each missed their second-straight game as they both recover from upper-body injuries, however.
The Bolts will have several days to get healthy and correct some of the mistakes made in the first part of the trip. Tampa Bay departs for Stockholm on Saturday and will have five days of preparation before facing the Sabres in game one of the 2019 NHL Global Series on Friday.
NYI | 4:58 Mathew Barzal (6) - Nick Leddy
TBL | 7:49 Yanni Gourde (2) - Kevin Shattenkirk
NYI | 11:33 Ryan Pulock (2) - Derick Brassard, Anthony Beauvillier
NYI | 12:41 Josh Bailey (5) - Mathew Barzal, Andres Lee
NYI | 14:27 Anders Lee (5) - Johnny Boychuk
TBL | 18:03 Ryan McDonagh (1) - Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat
NYI | 19:24 Derick Brassard (4) - Anders Lee, Josh Bailey - EN