Snap Shots: Lightning @ Islanders — 12/17/13

Dec 17, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center

John Tavares

(91) carries from the crease as Tampa Bay Lightning center

Tyler Johnson

(9) follows and goalie

Ben Bishop

(30) tends the goal during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Snap Shots, our condensed post-game recap of the New York Islanders latest NHL matchup

Tampa Bay Lighting (19-11-3, 41pts) – Islanders (9-16-6, 24pts)

Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

7:00pm EST    

Lightning (3) – Islanders (2) OT/SHO

Starting Lineup

26 Thomas Vanek – 91 John Tavares – 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner – 51 Frans Nielsen – 12 Josh Bailey
29 Brock Nelson – 18 Ryan Strome – 15 Cal Clutterbuck
36 Eric Boulton – 16 Peter Regin – 17 Matt Martin

44 Calvin de Haan – 3 Travis Hamonic
47 Andrew MacDonald – 14 Thomas Hickey
37 Brian Strait – 55 Aaron Ness

20 Evgeni Nabokov
60 Kevin Poulin

Notable Scratches: Casey Cizikas (Jaw); Colin McDonald

Game Summary

First Period:  The Islanders forecheck rather disorganized to begin tonight’s matchup, with many broken plays through the neutral zone, not to mention facing difficulties breaking out of their own zone. Tampa Bay with more of the momentum, as they keep the Isles hemmed in deep for the better part of 4:00 midway through the period; the Islanders have very little in the way of a response to whatever is in front of them at present. Josh Bailey falls (and fails) on a partial breakaway attempt, elucidating even further his season’s woes. Whatever the case, the Isles were the worst team through 11:00 of play, as their forecheck lacks creativity and jump; their backcheck is scattered at best. The Isles and Josh Bailey would have a key opportunity go awry, as a lone Bailey with a breakaway had the puck bounce over his stick and the shot goes way wide. The Isles first line brings some fire late in the period, keeping the Lightning on their toes, and Tavares with a nifty shot attempt taking the puck around the net then from his forehand to his backhand then to his forehand while falling to his knees to take the shot inside Ben Bishop’s crease. All to no avail, unfortunately, as the Isles and Bolts remain knotted up by period’s end. Radko Gudas is called Interference inside the neutral zone, and the Isles will be with the man-advantage to being the second. SOG13-12 Lightning 

Point of Interest: Isles with 9 Takeaways wins to the Bolts 2

Second Period: The Islanders open the scoring with a Kyle Okposo PPG within seconds of the period’s commencement.  Isles break a 4-period scoring drought and “improve” their special teams output. The first line would cough up another scoring chance having the Bolts’ crease wide open. Not too long afterwards, Matt Martin gets into a scrap with B. J. Crombeen at the 4:16 mark, as a means of jump-starting this rather lethargic contest. The Isles owned the better play through the first 7:00, as Nelson is denied a scoring chance in front, all due to his diligent play away from the puck beforehand. Some extra hustle for the Isles this period as it winds down; John Tavares’s game has an added level of speed as of late, and that quickness helped draw a penalty at the halfway point; nothing transpired and the Isles are 1-2 on PP.  New York’s overall play breaks down a bit as the period unwinds. Ryan Strome with a scoring attempt that failed due to a bouncing puck. The Isles playing slightly better than the Bolts, but Tampa is certainly within range of the tying goal, as opposed to the Isles second of the evening.  SOG 11-8 Islanders

Point of Interest: Isles with 20 FO wins to the Bolts’ 12

Third Period: Physicality on the uptick this period, as both teams laying hard hits on one another. Clutterbuck with a forearm/fist the face to an opposing player, landing him in the box for 2:00. Cal Clutterbuck was all over the ice while on with Tavares and Okposo, with two scoring chances while in front of the Bolts’ net; also the recipient of some elbows and shoves. Another word to define Isles’ play midway through the period: activate; runner-up: battle-level. Both of the aforementioned on the uptick, as well. Worth mentioning is the stellar play of Nabokov his last two starts, and especially this last period, showing strong rebound control and positioning. With 9:39 a streaking Michael Grabner creates a 2-on-1 with Frans Nielsen to his left, and with a deft pass to the Great Dane, the Isles are up by 2. The Islanders own the flow of the play through 16:00 and as the period winds down, playing the better part of the game transition well into Tampa’s zone.  Thomas Vanek with a partial breakaway foiled by those pesky brittle sticks made from pressed wood-chips. Frans Nielsen with the giveaway inside his own zone sets up Tampa Bay inside the high slot area first of the evening and spoils Nabokov’s shutout.  And not too long after, amid a mad scramble for the puck in front Nabokov’s crease, the Isles lose sight of Tampa Bay forwards and then the lead.  Yes, it’s that kind of season. Absolutely. SOG 12-10 Lightning

 Point of Interest: The Isles give up the lead late in the game—again.

Overtime: Islanders hemmed in for vast majority of the 4-on-4 play, and Tampa eagerly awaiting a chance to capitalize on the disarray on the ice. No scoring. Going to the shootout.



1st Period

  • Scoreless

2nd Period

  • Kyle Okposo (11). Assists: John Tavares and Brock Nelson(:11) 0-1 Islanders

3rd Period

  • Frans Nielsen (11). Assists: Michael Grabner and Josh Bailey (10:21) 0-2 Islanders
  • Valtteri Filppula (11). Unassisted. (17:07) 1-2 Islanders
  • Valtteri Filppula (12). Assists: J.T. Brown, Martin St. Louis. (19:56). 2-2 Islanders-Lightning 


  • Scoreless


  1.  Vanek – slapshot; missed
  2. Filppula – forehand; scores
  3. Nielsen – backhand; scores
  4. Kucherov – backhand/five-hole; scores–a beauty
  5. Tavares – forehand; stopped


1st Period

  • Radko Gudas. Interference. (19:27)

2nd Period

  • None

3rd Period

  • Cal Clutterbuck. Illegal Contact to the Head. (3:26)

Shots On Goal

  •  Even at 33 after 60:00

Turning Point

The Valtteri Filppula tying goal with seconds left in the contest.

What’s Ahead

The Islanders head cross-town to face the New York Rangers at the “greatest arena on earth” or what-have-you aka MSG, and then back to Long Island to face the Mighty Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.