OPEN AND SHUT
The Tampa Bay Lightning scored early and scored late and as a result, they left Long Island with an overtime win, defeating the Islanders, 3-2.
In the first period, the Lightning struck quickly, taking a lead on their first shot of the game, just 1:22 in. Collecting the puck just inside the blueline of the Islanders' zone, defenseman Paul Ranger sent a floater down low that Fredrik Modin redirected over Rick DiPietro's glove.
Thanks to a solid penalty kill, featuring unusual suspects like Eric Godard, the Islander were able to stay within reach of the Lightning, shutting down the Lightning on three powerplays in the first period. The Islanders had a chance of their own with the man-advantage, but couldn't beat Sean Burke.
A four-minute powerplay, thanks to Ruslan Fedotenko's high-sticking penalty on Brad Lukowich, didn't help the Islanders tie things up in the second period, but the hot hands of Miro Satan and Mike York did. Jason Blake got things started, carrying the puck to the Lightning goal, but a fanned shot left the biscuit on Satan's stick in the corner of the Lightning's zone. A quick pass later and Mike York dropped to one-knee at the faceoff dot, putting a hard shot over Sean Burke's shoulder and off the metal in the back of the net.
The first half of the third was a somewhat quiet affair, but once again York and Satan provided a spark. Satan made a clean cross-ice pass to send Brent Sopel up ice, through the neutral zone. Taking the puck into the attacking zone along the boards, Sopel saw York streaking up-ice on the far side and hit him with a smooth helper that York buried with a wrister to Burke's stick-side for his second goal of the night.
After kicking things off with an early goal, Tampa Bay potted one late as well. With Burke pulled and just 1:12 left on the clock, the Lightning tied the game at two goals apiece on Dan Boyle's shot on net from the point. A screened DiPietro didn't even see the shot, which was tipped in the slot by Martin St. Louis and beat him high to his glove side.
In overtime, an open net for Mark Parrish quickly became an Islanders loss, as a blocked shot was sent up-ice to a waiting Vincent Lecavalier. Breaking in on DiPietro, Lecavalier, faked a shot and deked to the left, pulling down DiPietro before putting the puck into a yawning net.
OFF THE ICE: Three Stars of the Night: 1. Vincent Lecavalier, 2. Mike York, 3. Rick DiPietro... Garth Snow is back from a one-game conditioning stint in Bridgeport, along with Wyatt Smith, while Jeremy Colliton and Wade Dubielewicz returned to Connecticut... For the Islanders, John Erskine (healthy), Alexei Zhitnik (ankle), Kevin Colley (neck) and Petteri Nokelainen (knee) were scratched, while the Lightning sat Dmitri Afanasenkov (healthy)... Brad Lukowich and Rob DiMaio have each donned the other team's crest... The Islanders are tied in the all-time series with Tampa Bay... After the third game of a four-game season series, the Lightning hold a 3-0 edge, having won at home and twice on the road.
(55) Jason Blake-(79) Alexei Yashin-(45) Arron Asham
(7) Trent Hunter-(16) Mike York-(81) Miroslav Satan
(12) Oleg Kvasha-(17) Shawn Bates-(37) Mark Parrish
(28) Wyatt Smith-(49) Eric Godard
(14) Chris Campoli-(24) Radek Martinek
(8) Tomi Pettinen-(3) Brent Sopel
(4) Joel Bouchard-(25) Brad Lukowich
(44) John Erskine
(39) Rick DiPietro
(30) Garth Snow
(33) Fredrik Modin-(19) Brad Richards-(26) Martin St. Louis
(20) Vaclav Prospal-(4) Vincent Lecavalier-(17) Ruslan Fedotenko
(34) Ryan Craig-(27) Tim Taylor-(18) Rob DiMaio
(14) Norm Milley-(8) Martin Cibak-(76) Evgeny Artyukhin
(54) Paul Ranger-(22) Dan Boyle
(13) Pavel Kubina-(5) Darryl Sydor
(44) Nolan Pratt-(21) Cory Sarich
(1) Sean Burke
(47) John Grahame