Opponents coming to Amalie Arena know they need to be on their game or else they could be on the receiving end of a lopsided loss. We've seen determined, spirited efforts from other teams in recent contests at Amalie against the Lightning. This game was no different. The Islanders stormed out of the gate looking to play a tight, physical game. An offensive zone steal in the opening minute led to a goal for Andrew Ladd and the Islanders never surrendered the lead. By the halfway point of the first, it was 2-0.
Beyond the shaky start, there were several other factors that led to this Lightning loss, their first in six games. The New York Islanders played very well throughout the game - they passed the puck well, forechecked hard in the offensive zone and finished some nice plays around the Lightning net. After those first 10 or 11 minutes, the Lightning did raise their level and created some Grade-A chances, but Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss provided his team with several quality saves. Still, there were other Lightning scoring opportunities that didn't result in any shots on goal. That's because the Lightning were guilty of passing out of excellent scoring chances. And as a whole, the Lightning weren't at their best defensively - they yielded several odd-man rushes to the Isles, who were dangerous off the rush all night. Credit the Lightning for mounting a third period comeback and cutting a 4-0 deficit to 4-3, but as a whole, this was not a strong showing for Tampa Bay.
Prior to this game, the Lightning had lost four other contests - two in regulation and two in OT or the shootout. In each of those instances, they won the next game. They'll try to do that again when they host Chicago on Wednesday.
Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito):
Brock Nelson's second period goal, extending the Islanders lead to 3-0.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito):
1. Anders Lee - Islanders. Two goals.
2. John Tavares - Islanders. Goal and two assists.
3. Yanni Gourde - Lightning. Two goals.