Islanders Top Line Topples Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 (Highlights)
The Islanders pick up win number eight in their streak with a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. A win that saw the Islanders top line dominate.
Seven wins in a row are good, but eight wins in a row are better. With a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Islanders now have eight wins.
Key to the victory was the Islanders top line of Mathew Barzal, Josh Bailey, and Anders Lee who put on an offensive clinic. All three picked up a goal tonight. And all three put up a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal in the third period that turned out to be the game-winner.
With the score tied at 0-0 and the shots tied at 5-5 after 20 minutes, the first period didn’t have much in the way of excitement. Both teams came into the game and just wanted to test the other out and get a feel for the rest of the night.
Ross Johnston and Luke Witkowski would provide the only element of drama as they both dropped the gloves. It was yet another win for Ross Johnston who barely broke a sweat in the tussle.
We know that Barzal is good. We know was on a good streak coming into the game. Over his last five games, Barzal has five points, four of which are goals. He’d add another one against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That’s his sixth goal of the season. He’s now a third of the way to reaching the 18 he scored last season. And there’s still another 70 games to be played.
That goal seemed to wake something up in the Tampa Bay Lightning. They started pouring on the pressure in the Islanders end. They’d get a power play from it and while they didn’t technically score on the power play, Yanni Gourde would score just as it ended to tie it.
Good teams find a way to get back into games. After the Lightning stole the momentum in the game and then found the back of the net, the Islanders got to work in the Lightning end.
Cole Bardreau‘s line did a terrific job at keeping the puck in the Lightning’s end of the ice after the game was knotted up at one.
That offensive pressure would eventually pay off with a nice cycle between
. The latter member of the Islanders French-connection would find
at the point who shot the puck out of cannon for his second in two games.
The Isles decided they’d play rope-a-dope with the Lightning to start the third period. It sounds like a bolt strategy to use against the defending President Trophy winner. But it’s Barry Trotz. He knows best. So the Isles let the Bolts dictate the pace and then hit them when they got leggy.
And, of course, it worked.
The top line finds an opening and buries the puck with a sweet tic-tac-toe play. Rarely have we seen the Islanders execute such a pretty goal, so watch it over and over until it’s burned into your brain.
Just under two minutes later the captain Anders Lee gets a backhand to slip through Andrei Vasilecskiy for the Isles fourth goal of the game and his fifth goal of the season AND third point of the night.
That marks the fourth game where the Islanders score four goals or more. For a team that wasn’t very good offensively last season, things are sure looking good early in the 2019-20 season.
Ryan McDonagh would put in a second goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Derick Brassard would add an empty netter to make it a 5-2 win and the Isles eighth win in a row.
The Islanders top line of Mathew Barzal, Josh Bailey, and Anders Lee would combine for seven points tonight. It was a dominant effort from the Islanders first set of forwards. Something that will hopefully carry over for the remainder of the season.
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1. Anders Lee: 1 Goal, 2 Assists
The captain now has five points in his last two games. Lee is starting to pile up the offense for the New York Islanders. With nine points in 12 games, he’s on pace for 34 goals and 62 points.
2. Thomas Greiss: 33 Saves, 0.943SV%
Thomas Greiss bailed out the Isles a number of times tonight. The first goal wasn’t great, but the team around him wasn’t helping him out. Shots were coming from everywhere it was a matter of time before Tampa found a hole.
3. Josh Bailey: 1 Goal, 1 Assist
What a goal. Josh Bailey now has five goals on the season. Putting him on pace for 34. His career-high is 18.