The New York Islanders had what seemed like a point in the bank against the Tampa Bay Lightning. But that changed with a single failed clearance late in the third period.
Entering the game the New York Islanders were on a seven game point streak. In those seven games they’d gone 5-0-2 against some pretty good teams. But the Tampa Bay Lightning presented their first big test.
The Islanders weren’t going to be allowed to make a single mistake if they wanted take two points. But with a costly mistake at the end, they dropped a point they probably deserved.
After the Montreal Canadiens buried the Islanders in terms of possession on Tuesday, the Isles decided to return the favor to the Lightning. With a 75% Corsi-For, the Isles played likely they’re best first period this season.
The Isles were able to translate that possession into a goal. Josh Bailey got his fourth goal of the year and 16th point of the year off a Brock Nelson pass.
That assist was Brock Nelson’s third point in November. Meaning what is being termed as “Bro-vember” continues.
The New York Islanders were a completely different team in the second period. In the first the Isles played toe-to-toe with the Lightning, but in the second the Isles were clearly the second best team.
The Lightning would add two unanswered goals to take a 2-1 lead into the third period.
But with two penalties called against the Lightning, the Islanders would go into period number three with a two man advantage.
The Islanders would squander that two man advantage. They got a chance or two, but they created very little else. In fact, the Islanders would go 0-for-5 on the power play on the night.
But at the eight minute mark, the Islanders would tie the game at two thanks to elite sniper Josh Bailey.
With 1:26 left in the third period, Ryan Pulock would fail to clear the puck from the zone after the Isles won the face off. And a split-second later Tyler Johnson makes it 3-2 after the Lightning pounce the Isles error.
The New York Islanders should have been able to take this to overtime and give the themselves another point and extend the streak. The Isles out shot the Lightning 37-27, they won the penalty differential, and they were at times the better team on the ice.
A loss is a loss though. Dropping even a single point is disappointing. But it’s good to know there’s still some positives to take out of the game. Namely; they can play with the best.
1. Andrei Vasilevski: 35 saves, 0.946SV%
He kept the Lightning in the game as the Islanders shot from anywhere and everywhere. His play between the pipes was a huge factor in the Lightning taking the two points.
2. Josh Bailey: 2 goals
Josh Bailey can’t stop scoring points. In 15 games he now has 17 points. He’s always been a pass first player, but over the last two years we’ve started to see Josh Bailey the shooter and it’s fantastic.
3. J.T. Miller: 1 goal, 1 assist
I love me an unselfish player. Miller’s goal in the second period gave the Lightning the lead in the game. But it was his assists on Stamkos’s empty netter that I appreciated more.
Miller could have gone for the empty netter, but with Stamkos wide open in front of an empty net it made sense to pass it to him. Again, unselfish and nice to see.