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Lightning end Islanders' win streak at five

by Corey Long

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cedric Paquette is making the most of his chances in an effort to keep his name in the lineup.

Paquette scored the go-ahead goal with 4:31 remaining in the first period to help lead the Lightning to a 5-2 win Saturday against the New York Islanders at Amalie Arena.

It was Paquette's fifth goal of the season and helped the Lightning (12-4-2) win for the first time in three games.

"I'm just trying to make contributions when I'm on the ice," Paquette said. "I don't expect to score every game, but once in a while it's a nice bonus. I'm still battling for a spot so every shift, every game I have a chance to play I want to make the most of it."

Paquette was benched Thursday when the Lightning lost 2-1 to the San Jose Sharks. On Saturday he was back in the lineup, replacing rookie Jonathan Drouin.

"Right now we're trying to put together the best lineup to win every night," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "I think Jonathan is going to be a great player in this League and Cedric is going to be a great player as well. And we're going to need both guys throughout this season."

The goal came when forward Vladislav Namestnikov used some slick skating to create a shot opportunity through the defense. Paquette controlled the rebound and sent a wrist shot past Islanders goalie Chad Johnson to give the Lightning a 3-2 lead. The puck deflected off the skate of Islanders forward Cory Conacher.

"We weren't as sharp as we like to be defensively in the first period and they capitalized on their chances and got a lead," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "We generated some chances ourselves, we just couldn't get that next one to kind of put them on their heels."

The Islanders opened the scoring 7:41 into the first period when Brock Nelson had a clear path to the goal and sent a wrist shot top-shelf over Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (25 saves).

Ryan Callahan tied the game exactly one minute later when he redirected a slap shot by defenseman Jason Garrison past Johnson. Garrison had two assists for Tampa Bay.

"Over the last two games our start wasn't where it needed to be and it rolled over," Callahan said. "I thought we had a good start and that carried over to the rest of the game."

The Islanders and Lightning traded goals again when Josh Bailey scored his third of the season to give New York a 2-1 lead at 11:22. Valtteri Filppula would tie the game at 13:46 with a power-play goal, his fourth of the season.

"We got out to a good start, but you can't trade chance for chance with a team like that," Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk said. "We will learn from this and play a better game next time out."

Tyler Johnson and Radko Gudas also scored for the Lightning and Steven Stamkos had an assist on Filppula's goal.

The Lightning will travel to face the New York Rangers on Monday and the Islanders on Tuesday.

"The big things we have to take advantage of are tired teams and home ice," Cooper said. "I don't know if we got their best shot or not, our goal is to come in here and win and get points. They played an overtime game [Friday] night. I was really proud of the guys, how we responded. We kept answering their goals."

Johnson gave up four goals on the first 15 shots he faced and finished with 23 saves for New York. Tavares and Kyle Okposo each had an assist for the Islanders, who won 4-3 in a shootout against the Florida Panthers on Friday.

"I thought we played a pretty good game," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We had a breakdown on the first goal and that gave them a little bit of life. But overall I liked their resilience during the game. We've just got to stay the course."

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