TAMPA BAY 4, ISLANDERS 3
By Jason Lockhart
The Tampa Bay Lightning held on to defeat the Islanders Monday afternoon at the Nassau Coliseum by the score of 4-3. The Islanders fell behind 3-1 and twice pulled within one, but they couldn't tie it. Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier both scored a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who have now won five games in a row.
The Islanders got on the board first, while on the power play. Alexei Yashin walked out in front and took one shot before gathering his own rebound and stuffing the puck past Johan Holmqvist at 3:38 of the first period. Chris Simon and Chris Campoli assisted on Yashin's 13th goal of the season.
Eric Perrin evened the score at one on Tampa Bay's first power play of the game. Perrin jammed home Vaclav Prospal's rebound, 6:55 into the first period.
The Lightning took a 2-1 lead on a sharp-angle one-timer shot by Brad Richards with 10:39 left in the first period. It was the Lightning's second power play opportunity of the first period.
"They got one power play opportunity and they put one in," said head coach Ted Nolan. "They got a second opportunity and they put one in.
St. Louis scored off a rebound with 4:23 left in the second period to make it 3-1.
The Islanders cut the lead to 3-2 with a 5-on-3 power play, 1:10 into the third period. Viktor Kozlov found himself all alone at the side of the net with the puck. He waited for goaltender Holmqvist to make the first move before rifling a wrister into the back of the net for his 16th goal.
Tampa Bay regained the two-goal lead when Vincent Lecavalier scored his 28th goal of the season at 7:18 of the third period.
"They have some top players, who can really do some damage," said Jason Blake. "Lecavalier and St. Louis were the difference in the hockey game."
The Islanders closed to within one on a goal by Trent Hunter with 9:20 left in the third period, but they couldn't get the equalizer in the final minute with Rick DiPietro pulled. The Islanders ended up out-shooting the Lightning 36-24.
"We were pretty resilient," said Nolan. "We had close to 40 shots, but couldn't get the equalizer."
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Martin St. Louis: A goal and an assist
2. Vincent Lecavalier: Scored the game-winner and added an assist
3. Alexei Yashin: Scored one goal and was credited with seven shots
4. Vaclav Prospal: Two assists in the first period
5. Mike Sillinger: Contributed two primary assists
Stat of the Game: The Islanders committed ten turnovers compared to four by the Lightning.
Havoc Zone Fans of the Game: Jake, Cristina, Christopher, Andrew and Vinny won the most dedicated Islanders prize of the day by standing outside starting at 6:45 am for Havoc Zone $19 Student Discount tickets. They're all from Franklin Square and have been friends since they were young. They passed the time by cheering towards anyone who walked by with an Islanders jersey. Christopher took it to the next level by blowing his whistle at them. They were motivated to come early because they couldn't get Havoc Zone vouchers for the Devils game on Saturday and wanted to make sure they experienced the Havoc Zone today. Vinny heard from a friend who sat in the Havoc Zone at a previous game that it was "insane and the most fun he's ever had at an Islanders game."
Slapshots: Graham Snyder -- father of Dan, a former Atlanta Thrasher who was killed in an auto accident while driving with Dany Heatley in 2003 was in attendance en route to visiting all 30 NHL arenas. He is touring the rinks in order to help raise money for the Dan Snyder Memorial Foundation...Radek Martinek (foot) was the only scratch for the Islanders...Today's attendance was 15,426...Christie Brinkley returned to the Nassau Coliseum with her sons Jack and Sailor for their second game of the season. When asked which player Jack liked most, he responded, "Witt, because he hits hard."
Game Operations: Commerce Bank and the Islanders recognized John Feal of Nesconset, Long Island as today's Hometown Hero for his heroism during the attacks on September 11, 2001...Three lucky fans in attendance were given the chance to drive away in a new H3 2007 Hummer...A number of local mascots joined Sparky today at the Nassau Coliseum, including Mr. Met, Spike from the Long Island Lizards and Quacker Jack of the Long Island Ducks.
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
32 Brendan Witt - 6 Sean Hill
14 Chris Campoli - 44 Freddy Meyer
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
12 Chris Simon - 79 Alexei Yashin - 55 Jason Blake
27 Randy Robitaille - 25 Viktor Kozlov - 81 Miroslav Satan
10 Richard Park - 17 Shawn Bates - 45 Arron Asham
40 Johan Holmqvist
30 Marc Denis
3 Doug Janik - 71 Filip Kuba
54 Paul Ranger - 22 Dan Boyle
44 Nolan Pratt - 21 Cory Sarich
20 Vaclav Prospal - 4 Vincent Lecavalier - 26 Martin St. Louis
17 Ruslan Fedotenko - 19 Brad Richards - 15 Nikita Alexeev
74 Nick Tarnasky - 9 Eric Perrin - 34 Ryan Craig
36 Andre Roy 27 Tim Taylor - 24 Andreas Karlsson