Finding a way to win

By John Panarese

It certainly wasn’t pretty and there were more than a few defensive lapses, but Marty Byron and company managed to pull of a 5-4 victory over the Lightning. Richard Park scored 2 of the goals for the Isles, including the game winner with about 2 minutes and twenty seconds left in the third period, while Blake Comeau had his seventh, Doug Weight netted his first, and Kyle Okposo put in his thirteenth goal of the season.

The game was a back and forth affair with the Islanders opening the scoring in the first period after killing off a 5 on 3 PK and with Rob Schremp setting up Comeau for the tally. The Lightning scored just a minute later and took a 2-1 lead into the second period.

The Isles went on to fight back from a 3-2 deficit to take a 4-3 lead in the third with OKposo and Park scoring quickly after the Lightning had taken the 3-2 lead. On Okposo’s goal, John Tavares took the puck behind the net and managed to center it before being knocked down. Kyle, who was in front of the net, was able to put the puck home while being pressured by a Lightning d-man. Park’s second goal, which proved to be the game winner, resulted from an impressive one-man effort with three separate whacks at the puck, the third finally being lifted over Antero Niittymaki. The goal was not initially awarded, but, for once, league review got it right as Park had put the puck up top below the crossbar where it meets the pipe.

Marty Byron played a great game in net and had to come up with several big saves. The Lightning top line of Steven Stamkos, Martin San Louis, and Steve Downie, in particular, was buzzing all afternoon, and I believe they all maintained various point streaks. Overall, though, it was a big 2 points for the Isles with one more to go before the olympic break.