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.”

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 75 34 40 -1 74
R. Strome 74 15 31 19 46
K. Okposo 53 15 31 -10 46
F. Nielsen 74 13 28 9 41
B. Nelson 75 18 22 9 40
A. Lee 69 23 16 14 39
J. Bailey 63 15 23 6 38
J. Boychuk 65 8 25 10 33
T. Hamonic 65 5 25 16 30
N. Leddy 71 10 19 16 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 16 2 .915 2.39
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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