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game recap

Vasilevskiy extends point streak to 18, Lightning hold off Islanders

Makes 17 saves, Point scores for Tampa Bay, which has won six straight

by Corey Long / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Point's blast goes home

NYI@TBL: Point fires slap shot on a rush in the 2nd

Brayden Point gets a lead pass from Nikita Kucherov and blasts a slap shot on a rush to beat Semyon Varlamov, opening the scoring in the 2nd

  • 00:40 •

TAMPA -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 17 saves to extend his point streak to 18 games when the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the New York Islanders 3-1 at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

Vasilevskiy is 16-0-2 during the streak, which is a Tampa Bay record.

Brayden Point had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (35-15-5), who have won six in a row and extended their point streak to eight games (7-0-1).

"You have to play different ways to win. You have to adapt," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "I thought we played a simple game. We really didn't turn the puck over, we didn't give them much, I think we limited them to under 20 shots. … The boys cared about getting two points no matter how to do it even if it wasn't going to be flashy, and that's what happened."

 

[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Lightning highlights]

 

Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves for the Islanders (31-16-6), who had won two straight and lost in regulation for the first time in six games (3-1-2).

"It was a pretty tight game out there," Islanders forward Derick Brassard said. "That's probably the best team in the League right now in the last month or so. It was pretty hard to get scoring chances. It's too bad we couldn't score a few, but I liked our effort tonight. One shot there at the end could've tied it."

Video: NYI@TBL: Brassard knocks in Bailey's feed

Point gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead 14 seconds into the second period when he scored with a slap shot on a breakaway. Nikita Kucherov got the assist on the play to extend his point streak to 10 games (eight goals, nine assists).

"Great pass by [Kucherov] to find me streaking," Point said. "Then I kind of feel that defenseman's back pressure on me so I figure I have to get a shot off. So I put my head down, take a slapper and it finds a hole."

Mathew Barzal skated in on a breakaway at 15:01 of the second period, but Anthony Cirelli caught him from behind and lifted his stick before clearing the puck away from the slot. 

"I was just kind of waiting for him open up his weight there for the shot, and I was just kind of lucky to get a stick on him there at the end," Cirelli said. "I was running out of space there, so I knew I had to try to make a push for it. But I knew [Vasilevskiy] was going to save it anyway."

Carter Verhaeghe pushed the lead to 2-0 at 6:25 of the third period. After Yanni Gourde's shot went wide of the net, Verhaeghe collected the rebound along the left boards and skated to the front after he was left alone by the Islanders defense.

"Their [second goal] bothers me," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "That was a lack of execution. Two of our forwards didn't pick up their forwards and we gifted them in the defensive zone. That a was lack of detail that costs us a goal. And that was a huge goal at the end."

Video: NYI@TBL: Verhaeghe pots backhanded goal

Brassard cut it to 2-1 with a power-play goal at 12:12 of the third period, redirecting a pass from Josh Bailey in front.

"That's a great play from [Bailey] to [Brassard]," Islanders captain Anders Lee said. "It's one we've talked about and looked at before, and they went out and executed. That was a big goal for us to get us within one there, especially when that's our only power play of the night."

Steven Stamkos scored an empty-net goal at with 1:02 remaining to make it 3-1. He has scored in four straight games and has 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in a 10-game point streak.

Tampa Bay held New York to five shots in the third period despite missing defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Jan Rutta, who are each out with a lower-body injury.

"These are the kind of games that shows the growth of our team," Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. "We can win different ways, we can grind through games and sometimes it's a high-scoring game. But these are the kind of games that you are going to see a lot down the stretch, so very happy with the way we answered the bell tonight."

 

They said it

"It was hard to get through. We've got to be a little more determined to get to the net, but we did a lot of really good things. We were only one puck away." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz

"These are kind of the dog days of the regular season. This is where you want to keep accumulating points, but you want to know if your team can grind it out with a team that plays [defense]. I thought we did that." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper

 

Need to know

Trotz did not have an update on Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock, who did not take another shift after a hit along the boards by Lightning forward Alex Killorn with 1:33 remaining. ... Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier had the secondary assist on Brassard's goal and has six points (three goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak. … Point has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in a six-game point streak. … Lightning defenseman Luke Schenn was plus-1 with five hits in 13:51 of ice time in his first game since Dec. 31.

 

What's next

Islanders: At the Washington Capitals on Monday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SNW, SNP, TVAS, NBCSWA, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Lightning: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Video: Point leads Lightning to 3-1 win against Islanders

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