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New York Islanders Lose In a Goalie Clinic vs Tampa Bay Lightning (Highlights)

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 01: Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning makes the second period save on Valtteri Filppula #51 of the New York Islanders at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on February 01, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 01: Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning makes the second period save on Valtteri Filppula #51 of the New York Islanders at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on February 01, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The New York Islanders would drop a hard fought return game after an extended break 1-0 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. If not for a clinic from both goalies the Isles may have taken both points.

After a nine day break following the All-Star game, the New York Islanders welcomed the league leading Tampa Bay Lightning to the Nassau Coliseum.

The last time these two team met the Islanders blitz the Lightning for a runaway 5-1 win in Brooklyn. The Lightning would not allow for that to happen again.

This game was going to a lot tighter than last time as the top two teams in the Eastern Conference meet each other for the second time this season.

First Period

The first period was about as entertaining of a period of hockey you could get without a goal being scored. Both teams were creating chances, the goalies were making saves, and both teams they were in each others face.

It was obvious that both teams don’t like each other. Every inch of the ice was fought over. At one point after a Kucherov slew foot, Mathew Barzal got a few pointed remarks for Steven Stamkos.

You could see the quality in both teams. Neither would budge during the first 20 minutes. Through the first frame both teams player each other to a stalemate.

Second Period

The goalie clinic continued in the second period. Neither gave up much, but Andrei Vasilevskiy was the one to come up larger with an incredible stop on Valtteri Filppula.

And then the physicality of the game was kicked up a notch. As Dan Girardi went to play a puck around the board Matt Martin came out of nowhere and absolutely leveled Girardi to the ice.

The Lightning clearly didn’t appreciate that hit by Martin. A few plays later as the puck is held for the whistle by Vasilevskiy, Victor Hedman shared a few words with Matt Martin. Although I’m not sure if a glove to the face is the most effective method of communication.

Either way, the period would end 0-0 but it had all the drama of a playoff game.

Third Period

Again, the goalies were stealing the show. Thomas Greiss put up a big stop at the start of the third period and quickly afterward Vasilevskiy stopped the Islanders a few times on the doorstep to keep the game at 0-0.

The drama would keep up for the entire third period. Some how there wasn’t a fight or a penalty to speak of.

The game was dominated by both goalies who stopped a combined 72 shots in regulation. Seventy-two.

Overtime

The three-on-three went about as you’d expect for the most part, until the 1:30 mark when Nikita Kucherov cross checked Nick Leddy in the back of the head.

Kucherov should have probably got his walking papers for slew footing Scott Mayfield, but the Isles would get a good chance to win it in overtime with almost a full man-advantage.

They wouldn’t. They got chances, but the Tampa Bay Lightning and specifically Andrei Vasilevskiy held the Islanders out.

To the shootout.

Shootout

Sure enough, the Islanders did what the Islanders do in the shootout. Outside of Mathew Barzal they didn’t look very dangerous to score.

A Victor Hedman wrist shot is what decided the game and the extra point.

I hate skills competitions to decided games. Not only because the New York Islanders are terrible at them, but because after a full 60 minutes of hockey you want to see hockey decide a hockey game.

A loss is a loss, but the New York Islanders can hold their head up high after going toe-to-toe against the best team in the league and probably being the better team on the night.

Three Stars

1. Andrei Vasilevskiy: 36 saves, 1.00SV%

If not for Vasilevskiy was the only reason this game went to overtime. The New York Islanders carved out a ton of great opportunities, but Vasilevskiy shut the door every time.

2. Thomas Greiss: 41 saves, 1.00SV%

How about that performance from Thomas Greiss? Back-to-back shutouts from Greisser. He was the busier of the two goalies and made it look absolutely routine.

3. Matt Martin: a destroying hit

Matt Martin absolutely destroying Dan Girardi injected a ton of energy into the building with a single hit. Martin did his job on the night.

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