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game recap

Islanders top Lightning for eighth straight win

Lee has goal, two assists for New York; Tampa Bay 1-2-1 in past four games

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

Lee banks puck in off Vasilevskiy

TBL@NYI: Lee knocks puck in off Vasilevskiy

Anders Lee grabs the carom off the end boards and banks it in off Andrei Vasilevskiy, increasing the Islanders' lead to 4-1 in the 3rd

  • 01:00 •

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders extended their winning streak to eight games when Anders Lee had a goal and two assists in a 5-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nassau Coliseum on Friday.

Thomas Greiss made 33 saves, and Mathew Barzal, Derick Brassard and Josh Bailey each had a goal and an assist for New York (9-3-0), which has scored at least four goals in four straight games.

It's the Islanders' longest winning streak since a nine-game run during the 1989-90 season (Dec. 31-Jan. 19).

 

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Islanders highlights]

 

"We've all recognized what our identity is and who we are, and guys playing their roles perfectly," Lee said. "We're not trying to do too much. I think we're playing a pretty simple game, not taking too many risks. If we do, we have had great goaltending that has backed us up."

Yanni Gourde and Ryan McDonagh scored, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves for Tampa Bay (6-5-2), which is 1-2-1 in its past four games.

Video: TBL@NYI: Barzal beats Vasilevskiy to kick off scoring

The Lightning don't play again until next Friday, when they face the Buffalo Sabres at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm as part of the 2019 NHL Global Series.

"Eventually we're going to get rewarded and then hopefully we can go on a little bit of a streak here," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "We are seeing improvement in a lot of areas, so we've just got to weather through this. We knew this was coming. … But we're still above .500 heading into Sweden and hopefully we can come back with some more points and then dig our heels in once our schedule evens out."

The Lightning had the puck for most of the first 12 minutes of the third period and held a 11-2 advantage in shots on goal in that time. But the Islanders kept them to the outside and killed off a penalty to withstand Tampa Bay's surge until they could catch a break.

A dump-in bounced off McDonagh and popped free. Lee got the puck and moved it across the ice to Barzal, who passed to Bailey for a one-timer from the right circle that gave the Islanders a 3-1 lead at 7:19.

"That's tough," Lightning forward Alex Killorn said. "That's a huge moment in the game for us to get some momentum going the other way. That's just the way things are going for us now."

Lee gave New York a 4-1 lead at 14:27. Johnny Boychuk had the assist to extend his point streak to four games.

McDonagh scored a 6-on-5 goal at 18:03 to make it 4-2, but Brassard scored for the fourth straight game, an empty-net goal at 19:24, for the 5-2 final.

"I think we frustrated them by playing a 200-foot game," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "We made them go through us. We were like, 'We're going to stay on top of you, we're going to play our game, not play your game. You're better at your game then we are, so force you into our game if we can.' We're comfortable there."

Barzal scored his second goal in as many games to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 4:58 of the second period.

Gourde scored 2:51 later with a near-side backhand from low in the right circle tie the game 1-1 at 7:49.

New York took a 2-1 lead on Ryan Pulock's one-timer through traffic from the right point at 11:33 of the second. Pulock has scored in back to back games.

Video: TBL@NYI: Bailey scores to cap beautiful passing play

 

They said it

"The guys are working, they're trying, and I think that's when frustration sets in when you are working so hard and quote-unquote breaks aren't going your way. But we threw 35 [shots] at him tonight. Probably in the end, the scoring chances are going to be very similar. I don't think there were very many either way. We keep having defensive efforts like that eventually with the skillset we have up front, we will score some goals." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper

"I think it's the whole group, everyone coming together. It's been two years we've been together under Barry, so we have the systems right down. It's kind of an underrated group. Not a lot of guys get a lot of credit. Brock Nelson has been playing some of the best hockey I've seen. Bailey and [Lee], I mean, these guys sometimes don't get talked about enough with how much they're doing. It's just been a whole team thing." -- Islanders center Mathew Barzal

 

Need to know

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman missed his second straight game because of a lower-body injury. Cooper said he was "hopeful" Sweden-born Hedman would be able to play against the Sabres in Stockholm. … Greiss is 4-0-0 during the winning streak. Semyon Varlamov, who was the backup against the Lightning, is also 4-0-0. They have alternated starts and have combined to allow two or fewer goals in seven of the past eight games. … The Islanders will play their next three home games at Barclays Center, where they have yet to play this season. They are 6-2-0 at Nassau Coliseum.

 

What's next

Lightning: Against the Buffalo Sabres in the 2019 NHL Global Series in Stockholm on Friday (2 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, NHL.TV)

Islanders: At the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Video: Islanders top Lightning for eighth consecutive win

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