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Johnson's late goal lifts Lightning past Islanders

Scores with 1:26 left in third for Tampa Bay, which has won four straight

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tyler Johnson scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:26 remaining in the third period to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-2 win against the New York Islanders at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

Nikita Kucherov faked a shot in the slot before passing to Johnson, who redirected the puck into an open net at the left post to make it 3-2.

"[Yanni Gourde] made a great play to [Kucherov] in the slot and he just found me back door," Johnson said. "Really I was just in the right spot at the right time."

 

[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Lightning highlights]

 

Steven Stamkos and J.T. Miller each had a goal and an assist, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves for Tampa Bay (12-3-1), which has won four straight and leads the Eastern Conference with 25 points.

"It's not always going to be pretty, it's not always going to be your best game," Johnson said. "But good teams find a way to win."

Video: NYI@TBL: Kucherov, Johnson connect for go-ahead goal

Josh Bailey scored twice, and Robin Lehner made 23 saves for New York (8-5-2), which lost in regulation for the first time in its past eight games (5-1-2).

"It's obviously a tough goal late, but we could've been up one or two (goals) with that 5-on-3 or the power plays," Islanders center Mathew Barzal said. "It's not just on a couple guys. It's on everyone."

Bailey gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 3:40 of the first period after he fought off Anton Stralman and Gourde in the slot before beating Vasilevskiy glove side.

Video: NYI@TBL: Bailey battles for puck, beats Vasilevskiy

Mathieu Joseph tied it 1-1 at 5:58 of the second period, skating in and beating Lehner short side from the left circle.

Miller gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead at 11:12 on a one-timer at the top of the right circle off a pass from Mikhail Sergachev.

The Islanders began the third period with a 5-on-3 power play for 47 seconds but couldn't score.

"The [penalty kill] came up huge again. That's a fresh ice 5-on-3," Miller said. "We had guys on the ice for almost two minutes right there sacrificing their bodies and throwing themselves around. It's not pretty, but the bench got a really big lift when that last puck went out of play."

Video: NYI@TBL: Miller scores to finish pretty passing play

Bailey tied it 2-2 at 8:43 of the third period. He received a pass from Adam Pelech from behind the net before scoring glove side from low in the left circle.

"Tough ending. I think we really fought hard to come back," Lehner said. "Yeah ... that's unfortunate. An unfortunate ending."

Stamkos scored an empty-net goal at 19:50 to make it 4-2.

"I thought we played real hard, I liked most of our game," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "Other than maybe about the first 10 minutes of the second period, I thought we played a really good game in a lot of areas against a really good team."

Video: NYI@TBL: Bailey nets second to tie game in 3rd

 

They said it

"You put in 59 pretty good minutes and you feel at least you'll get a point, maybe two, and you throw it away. That's why the details are so important." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz

 

"I know they ended up scoring later in the period, but you can't underestimate the lift [the 5-on-3 penalty kill] gave our team. It gave us that little room for error. They found a way to tie it, but we found a way to win." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper

 

Need to know

Lightning forward Brayden Point left the game in the third period with an apparent injury. Cooper said he was going to be OK. ... Barzal had an assist. His next game will be the 100th of his NHL career. ... Islanders forward Jordan Eberle was in the lineup after missing practice Wednesday. He was minus-4 in 13:55 of ice time. ... Stamkos has 10 points (five points, five assists) in the past six games.

 

What's next

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

Lightning: Host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CITY, SUN, NHL.TV)

Video: Johnson, Vasilevskiy help hold off Isles in 4-2 win

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