TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The New York Islanders playoff drive hit another roadblock.
Ruslan Fedotenko scored a tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Islanders 5-2 on Sunday night.
Bruno Gervais and Alexei Yashin scored first-period goals for the Islanders, who trail eighth-place Montreal by five points in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. New York has lost three straight after a four-game winning streak.
"I think it comes down to desperation," Islanders coach Brad Shaw said. "I really don't understand some of the efforts we're getting from some of the guys when we're supposed to be trying to make a push to get into the playoffs. It's astonishing."
The Islanders traded away four veteran players - forwards Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha, and defensemen Brad Lukowich and Brent Sopel - at the dealing deadline and then lost top defenseman Alexei Zhitnik to a season-ending ankle injury.
Fedotenko made it 3-2 with 10:43 left on a deflection off his stick from in close. Fredrik Modin's shot hit an Islanders defender and was redirected toward Fedotenko. The play was reviewed by the video goal judge.
"I think it was one of those lucky ones," Fedotenko said.
Martin St. Louis gave Tampa Bay a two-goal advantage at 14:27 before Modin scored a power-play goal to make it 5-2 with 2:27 remaining.
"It's a tough loss," Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro said. "Games this big you can't afford to drop like that in the third period. We did it again and we're just putting ourselves further and further behind the 8-ball."
DiPietro made 32 saves.
"We had a chance to win it," he said. "We've got to play harder, more desperation. We needed those two points badly and we didn't get them."
Tampa Bay also got goals from Pavel Kubina and Vincent Lecavalier, who has a four-game streak. John Grahame stopped 30 shots.
Gervais scored his first NHL goal - in his 12th game - to put New York ahead 1-0 at 1:46 of the first period. After Kubina's power-play goal tied it at 16:18, the Islanders went up 2-1 when Yashin scored on the rebound with 2:08 left in the period.
Lecavalier redirected Vinny Prospal's pass to get Tampa Bay even at 2 with 27.4 seconds remaining in the second.
"We were having problems generating chances, having problems with their speed," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "Obviously the second goal at the end of the period was key. That's what I like about what happened, we ended up finding a way."
Notes: Tampa Bay won all four games in the season series. The first three were one-goal victories. ... Lecavalier also had an assist and extended his point streak to seven games. He has six goals and 10 points during the stretch. ... Islanders LW Mike York (concussion) missed his second consecutive game and is day to day. ... Kubina snapped a 20-game, goal-scoring drought. ... New York C Shawn Bates played in his 400th NHL game.