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Burns: 3 Things from blowing out the Islanders

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns goes in-depth on the Bolts big 6-1 win over the Islanders on Tuesday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Tampa Bay was embarrassed after its performance against the New York Rangers on Sunday, a 6-1 loss that was the Lightning's worst in the regular season since 2013.

The Bolts set out to rectify their poor play two nights later in Brooklyn.

The result was a spectacular 6-1 victory over the New York Islanders to improve to 6-4-0 on the season.

Nine separate players got on the score sheet for the Lightning, and four Bolts - Nikita Kucherov (2 goals, 2 assists), Steven Stamkos (goal, assist), Victor Hedman (2 assists) and Slater Koekkoek (2 assists) recorded multi-point games.

The Lightning scored a first-period goal for just the second game in 10 games this season.

And then they scored another.

And then they tacked on one more for good measure.

The Bolts return to AMALIE Arena on Thursday when they will take on Atlantic Division rival Boston.

But before coming home, let's recap all the goodness from a much-needed blowout win in 3 Things from Brooklyn.

1. RESPONSE GAME

Video: TBL@NYI: Boyle roofs a backhand to extend the leadThe Lightning challenged themselves to put together a complete effort after Sunday's embarrassing loss to the Rangers on Sunday.

The number of odd-man rushes the Bolts allowed against the Rangers was shocking. The plan coming in to Tuesday's game against the Islanders was to take care of the defensive zone first and let the offense come as a result.

The Lightning laid the blueprint for future success with their 6-1 win over the Islanders.

"We talked about this game in a lot of detail and knew that this was going to have to be a response game for us," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "We got challenged internally in this room. We got challenged by the coaching staff to respond and I thought we did a great job of just playing the right way. We learned that what made us successful was just defend first and let the skill take over after that."

The fact that the Lightning challenged themselves to be better and then were able to go out and prove it left everybody with a good feeling in the locker room following the game.

"Anytime you get in a situation where things aren't going well, you always try to revert back to what has made you successful," Bishop said. "Sometimes it just takes a spark. It takes an embarrassing loss for whatever reason or a tough stretch. You're going to go through stretches like that. It's how you can respond to that. In the scheme of it, it's just one game, but it was what we wanted."

2. GETTING DIRTY
Video: TBL@NYI: Boyle roofs a backhand to extend the leadThe Lightning did the dirty work on Tuesday to come away from Brooklyn with a victory.

They clogged the neutral zone and didn't let the Islanders enter the zone with any speed or numbers.

They routinely got in the way of passes and shots, blocking enough pucks to make goaltender Ben Bishop's job relatively simple.

And they got net-front in the offensive zone to take the eyes away from first goalie Thomas Greiss and then Jaroslav Halak after the Islanders' starting goalie was pulled following the Bolts' third goal.

"Accountability has been the big word," Stamkos said. "Being accountable to your teammates, being accountable by your play on the ice, no matter what zone it is, and we did that tonight."

One of the biggest contributors in this department was Vladislav Namestnikov, who despite finishing minus-1 and coming away with zero points, was a player Lightning head coach Jon Cooper singled out (along with Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov) following the game.

"(His stats) weren't indicative of how he played," Cooper said. "He was on for that goal against, but he did everything in his power to block it and it went right through his legs. Looking back now, it's probably a good thing it didn't hit him because that was a bomb. But, he had a heck of a game, and that line was really good for us, him and Boyle and Brownie. They were responsible all over the ice and it was a big contributor to why we won."

3. GRADING THE ROAD TRIP
Video: Cooper on win over the IslandersCooper has stated in previous seasons that the mark of a good road trip is coming home with at least as many points as games played.

The Lightning concluded a six-game road trip on Tuesday, tied for their longest of the season.

They get on a Tampa-bound charter plane with six points in the bank from those six games.

Using Cooper's equation, the road trip was therefore a success.

Some of the luster was taken off the trip when three-straight losses followed two wins at the start.

But the Bolts were able to bounce back and get an important early-season win against a playoff team from the previous season on the Islanders home ice and playing the final game in a difficult three-games-in-four-day stretch to conclude the trip.

"It's nice," Bishop said. "It's something we needed to kind of salvage this road trip. We just took care of our end. We didn't give up, I think we had maybe one odd-man rush, one breakaway there at the end, but we played really sound defensively and that's what we need to do to win. Obviously, our skill would take over and it's important to take care of our end and the guys did that tonight."

The plane ride home to Tampa will be much more pleasant than it was shaping up to be Sunday night.

The Bolts have their complete performance in Brooklyn to thank for the positive vibes. 

 

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