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Burns: 3 Things from sweeping the New York Islanders

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts 4-0 win over the New York Islanders

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Tampa Bay has enjoyed a considerable amount of success against the New York Islanders this season, outscoring the Isles 10-2 through the first two games of the series en route to two victories.

Monday night in Brooklyn was more of the same from the Bolts.

The Lightning put together one of their better performances of the season to win 4-0 and complete a regular-season sweep of the Islanders in 2016-17. Dating back to last season's Eastern Conference Semifinal series, the Bolts have now won seven in a row over the Isles.

The Lightning will try to complete their first back-to-back sweep this season when they take on the Red Wings in Detroit on Tuesday.

Before we head to the Motor City, however, let's look at 3 Things that led to the Bolts' domination of the Islanders.

Video: TBL@NYI: Brown shows off his speed to bury breakaway1. ISLAND HOPPING

Fast starts haven't exactly been a hallmark of the 2016-17 Tampa Bay Lightning.

In fact, the Lightning have led just three times this season following the first period.

Make it four now, three of those first-period leads coming in games against the Islanders.

In every contest this season versus New York, the Lightning have sprinted out to a big lead in the first 20 minutes and that momentum from holding an opening-period lead has held throughout the remainder of the game.

On Monday, J.T. Brown got the offense started for the Bolts late in the first, charging down the middle of the ice toward goal, taking Cedric Paquette's saucer pass in stride and shooting past Jaroslav Halak to make it 1-0 Bolts at 18:58.

Forty two seconds later, Andrej Sustr's slap shot from the edge of the right circle was tipped by Ryan Callahan into goal for a 2-0 lead.

The Lightning have outscored the Islanders 7-0 in the first period of their three meetings this season.

Tampa Bay forced New York to play catch up for the majority of the series, and the Islanders were never able to answer.

Video: TBL@NYI: Vasilevskiy robs Tavares with glove save2. ANDREI THE GIANT

Andrei Vasilevskiy has parlayed his tremendous play during the Eastern Conference Final against Pittsburgh when starter Ben Bishop was forced to the bench because of an injury into a strong beginning to the 2016-17 season.

Entering Monday's start against the Islanders, his sixth start of the season, Vasilevskiy ranked seventh in the NHL for goals-against average (2.00) and tenth for save percentage (.932).

Those numbers will look even better when Vasilevskiy and the Lightning leave Brooklyn.

Vasilevskiy stopped all 34 shots he faced against New York to record the third shutout of his career.

The blanking was also the first by a Bolts goalie this season.

Trailing 4-0 and desperate to get anything past Vasilevskiy, the Islanders had 20 shots on goal in the third period.

Didn't matter

The Islanders received a 5-on-3 for about a minute in the final period when Braydon Coburn was called for delay of game with Cedric Paquette already in the box for hooking.

Didn't matter

And with 1:20 left in the game, the Islanders were given one final chance to unlock Vasilevskiy after Kucherov was sent to the penalty box.

And again, it still didn't matter to Vasilevskiy.

The third-year pro was up to the challenge for anything the Islanders had for him.

Vasilevskiy has won two-straight starts and only looks to be getting better as the season progresses.

Video: TBL@NYI: Kucherov, Stamkos combine for fantastic goal3. SPREADING THE WEALTH

In all three games against the Islanders, the Lightning's superstars have led the charge.

Bolts captain Steven Stamkos scored two goals and five assists. Top ten NHL scorer Nikita Kucherov pumped in four goals and three assists. Norris Trophy candidate Victor Hedman tallied four assists.

But the Lightning scoring didn't stop beyond the big three.

In fact, look up and down all four lines and the three defensive pairings and you'll see contributions throughout.

On Monday, J.T. Brown netted his second goal of the season to score the opening goal of the game. His first goal of the season came 14 days earlier in Brooklyn on a breakaway.

Cedric Paquette notched his fourth assist of the season and now has a helper in three-straight games, two of those games against the Islanders.

Vladislav Namestnikov ended a nine-game goal drought after netting his third of the season.

And Andrej Sustr also stopped a drought, his a nine-game stretch without a point, with an assist on Callahan's goal.

In all, nine players got on the score sheet Monday night in Brooklyn and all four Lightning goals were scored by different individuals.

When the Bolts are getting that kind of production up and down the lineup, they're going to be very difficult to beat.

The Islanders found out the hard way on Monday, and, well, all season really.

 

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