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Tavares has third four-point night of his career

Islanders center John Tavares put up two goals and two assists in the Islanders 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night

Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 10:47 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Tavares has third four-point night of his career
After a week of having to field questions on why he hadn't put up any points in the Islanders' first two games, John Tavares answered with a statement game on Thursday night.

Tavares tallied four points in the Islanders 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“He was John Tavares of last year and how he finished,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “The thing about Johnny is that he puts a lot of pressure on himself. Tonight he played relaxed and he went out and did the little things. I thought he had an excellent game. I thought he was the best player on the ice.”

John Tavares celebrates his second goal in the first period during the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on October 13, 2011 at Nassau Coliseum. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
It all began 36 seconds after the opening faceoff as Tavares converted for his first goal of the season and put the Islanders ahead 1-0. Sparking the chemistry and momentum they were hoping for, Tavares and his linemates would have the breakout night they were looking for – each of them would finish the night with a +4 rating.

“I know I wanted more shots on net, so I had a great chance there early on and a lucky bounce, but I think Matt (Moulson) was going to be there anyways to put in a rebound,” Tavares said. “We just did the right things and we fed off each other. We played a simple game. We got pucks to the net, went to the front of the net and got rewarded for it.”

The Islanders win over the Lightning put Moulson and Tavares on the scoresheet for the first time this season. Capuano said he didn’t want to put pressure on them because he knew the points would come, adding “It’s got to come natural for them.”

Matt Moulson knocked in a Tavares rebound (9:28), Tavares scored his second goal of the night (15:15), and then the Isles center sent PA Parenteau in for his first goal of the season (18:39). Including goals and assists, the Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau line put up eight points in the first period.

“I felt like our timing was a lot better today,” Moulson said of his line’s chemistry. “We worked hard in that first period to get ourselves going and sometimes all you need is a lucky goal like that first one Johnny got. Right after he scored, I said, ‘that’s definitely going to spark us’ and it did.”

Although their line wouldn’t convert on any of their opportunities in the final 40 minutes, that energy carried through the second and the third. Tavares played well at all ends of the ice, posting four shots, two takeaways, and two penalties (one of which was a minor for roughing).

Early in the second period, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman sent Tavares sliding into the boards. After the hit, the Isles center skated slowly to the bench. However, he wouldn’t miss a shift. At 7:38 of the third period, he’d get even. Tavares and Hedman would each take minor penalties for roughing.

More nights like Thursday are exactly what Tavares will need to top his totals from seasons past.

“The sky is the limit for this guy,” Parenteau said of Tavares. “He’s a great player. He’s got tremendous hands, a great shot. He’s fun to play with.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 11 6 5 -3 11
K. Okposo 11 2 6 -3 8
F. Nielsen 11 3 3 -3 6
B. Nelson 11 1 4 -5 5
T. Hickey 11 1 4 -5 5
A. Quine 10 1 4 -1 5
S. Prince 11 3 1 -1 4
R. Strome 8 1 3 1 4
N. Leddy 11 1 3 1 4
N. Kulemin 11 1 3 -5 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Greiss 5 6 2 .923 2.46
J. Berube 0 0 0 1.000 0.00
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