UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Trent Hunter was languishing on the fourth line until
Arron Asham made a costly mistake that landed him squarely on the New York
Hunter took Asham's spot to the right of Michael Peca and Shawn Bates and
made the difference in a 5-2 comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on
"That line needed a little jump on that side, and Hunter was just what the
doctor ordered," Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. "You don't do good, you
don't work hard, you're not going to play."
Stirling punished Asham after the forward committed an error that led to
Ruslan Fedotenko's second-period goal.
Hunter responded with a goal and two assists to help Islanders to their
first winning streak since they won three straight from Nov. 1-6. Bates also
had a goal and two assists, and Peca set up each of his linemates' goals.
"You have to keep your head in the game, and when you get the opportunity
you have to take advantage of it," said Hunter, who has 10 goals in his rookie
Bates and Hunter also set up Radek Martinek's go-ahead score in the third
period. The pair tied it at 2 with goals 2:46 apart late in the second period.
Martinek took a cross-the-crease pass from Bates 3:19 into the third and beat
"For us to get two goals late in the period, it turned things around for
the team," Hunter said. "We came out flying in the third."
Mark Parrish padded the lead at 8:04, taking a pass from Dave Scatchard and
scoring his seventh goal. Jason Blake added an empty-netter with 2.3 seconds
left, and Garth Snow made 29 saves for the win.
"We knew they were trying to get back on track, and you can see what
happens when a team plays desperate hockey," Lightning forward Dave Andreychuk
Tampa Bay started New York's seven-game losing streak that ended Saturday
when the Islanders beat Chicago.
"Most important to me is to build on that good feeling they had for the
first time in a long time," Stirling said.
Pavel Kubina and Fedotenko scored in the second period for the Lightning,
who were looking for their first three-game winning streak since Nov. 14-22.
Instead, Tampa Bay lost for the fourth time in six games while playing its
fourth game in six nights.
Hunter started New York's comeback when he took a pass from Bates and scored
with 4:26 left in the second. He is one goal behind Mariusz Czerkawski for the
Bates tied it with 1:40 remaining in the period, corralling a puck that
bounced through the slot off Hunter's stick and smacking it into the net.
"We gave them goals," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "We gave them
two freebies when they were dead in the water."
The Lightning took a 1-0 lead when Kubina scored 20 seconds into a two-man
Andreychuk, who had goals in each of the Lightning's three previous games,
passed the puck to Kubina. He took one stride and sent a shot through traffic
that beat Snow at 9:11 of the second.
Fedotenko made it 2-0 just 4:10 later, taking a pass from Brad Richards and
snapping a shot while flat-footed at the top of the left circle for his first
in 13 games.
"At the start, we were moving the puck real well out of our zone. But as
the game went on, they were stronger in their forecheck and caused us
problems," Andreychuk said.
Richards has just one goal in 19 games, but had two assists for his fourth
multipoint game this season.
Khabibulin made 30 saves.