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game recap

Steven Stamkos helps Lightning past Islanders

Opens scoring with goal in first period, has two assists

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves, and Steven Stamkos had a goal and two assists to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-1 win against the New York Islanders at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Brian Boyle also scored for the Lightning (8-5-1), who were 2-for-6 on the power play.

 

WATCH: All Islanders vs. Lightning highlights

 

Andrew Ladd scored for the Islanders (5-7-2), who are 0-4-0 on the road. Jaroslav Halak made 13 saves on 16 shots before he was pulled for Thomas Greiss at 2:50 of the second period.

Stamkos gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal at 8:03 of the first period with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Halak between the pads.

Kucherov made it 2-0 at 11:00 of the first period with a snap shot from nearly the same spot at the left circle off a pass from defenseman Victor Hedman.

"For us to come out and have that start was obviously big," Hedman said. "They had their pushes throughout the game, but I think overall it was a pretty solid effort. Special teams came up big again."

The Lightning extended their lead to 3-0 when Johnson scored on the power play at 2:50 of the second period with slap shot from the left circle that beat Halak.

Video: NYI@TBL: Johnson buries one-timer to tally PPG

Ladd got the Islanders on the scoreboard at 8:04 of the second period when he capitalized on a 2-on-1 rush and beat Vasilevskiy with a shot that went in high on the glove side to make it 3-1.

"We thought we created some chances and did some good things in 5-on-5," Ladd said. "But it's tough when you're in the box all night. The guys that aren't killing penalties are sitting on the bench, and it takes them out of rhythm."

Tampa Bay took a 4-1 lead when Boyle scored his fourth goal off a pass from Cedric Paquette at 1:08 of the third period.

Greiss made 11 saves in relief.

"It's no secret, the amount of penalties we're taking [is] putting us in a tough spot having to climb back in a lot of games," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "And it starts with myself. These are not the results we want."

Video: NYI@TBL: Stamkos finishes snap shot for PPG

 

Goal of the game

Paquette did nice work to set up the Lightning's fourth goal by keeping the puck in the zone after the Islanders tried to clear it and then making a nice backhand pass to Boyle, who beat Greiss with a wrist shot over his right shoulder. "[That goal] ultimately popped their balloon a little bit," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "It's 3-1. It's a game, plus they had momentum. We needed that buzzer to go in the second period and, as I said, it helped us being up two instead of just one, and then you get that fourth one and it kind of sucked a little air out of their tires."

Video: NYI@TBL: Boyle finishes wrist shot through traffic

 

Save of the game

Vasilevskiy came up big when the Islanders charged at him with a 4-on-1 rush by robbing center Casey Cizikas on a wrist shot from 12 feet out at 7:56 of the second period. "I was surprised and I just tried to get in a good position and stay calm," Vasilevskiy said. "I just wanted to keep our net safe."

 

Unsung moments of the game

Defenseman Anton Stralman did not get a point on either of the Lightning's two power-play goals, but he carried the puck into the Islanders zone to get the goal-scoring sequence going on each.

 

Highlight of the game

The Islanders had multiple breakaways but were turned away by Vasilevskiy each time. The final one came at 13:03 of the third period when he made a pad save on Shane Prince, who broke in alone on the Lightning goalie after a takeaway. "[Vasilevskiy] is a year older, a year wiser, a year stronger, a year quicker and a year better," Cooper said. "He's a bona fide goalie in this league."

 
They said it

"There were a couple of calls that were real questionable, 6-1 obviously in power plays. We played a pretty tough 5-on-5, nine shots after two periods. We have to find a way to kill our penalties right now." -- Islanders coach Jack Capuano

 

"We moved the puck well and created a lot of opportunities, and for us to rely on that and to know that we have that is huge for us. So you know, you can't lose momentum when you have a power play, you have to gain it." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman

 

Video: NYI@TBL: Kucherov buries a wicked wrist shot

 

Need to know

Hedman got his 188th NHL assist in the first period to become the Lightning's all-time leader among defensemen.

 

What's next

Islanders: At the Florida Panthers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)

Lightning: Home against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, CSN-CA, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Stamkos' three points lead Lightning to 4-1 win

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