The NY Islanders are looking to bounce back after a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils as they take to their first road trip of the season to play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.
The Islanders' offense struggled the most it had all season long against the Devils. The offense only mustered three shots on goal during the first period, while they were left without a single shot for the first 17 minutes of the game. New Jersey would outshoot the Islanders lopsidedly, 43-17, and would win by a score of 4-1. The Islanders' only goal came from Anders Lee with 3:16 to go in the third period, and Ondrej Palat of the Devils would score two goals along with the game-winner. Ilya Sorokin still played great in the loss, making 39 saves and continuing his great play this season. The Islanders still have a perfect penalty kill percentage this season, not allowing a single power-play goal, however still only have one power-play goal of their own this season, going 0-for-2 on the night.
The Lightning are coming off of a 3-2 win in overtime last night against the Florida Panthers. Brayden Point would score twice for the Lightning, including the overtime winner. Steven Stamkos scored the first goal on the power play for Tampa Bay last night while also registering an assist on Point's OT winner. Andrei Vasilevskiy started and made 36 saves on 38 shots in the win, and Nikita Kucherov also recorded two assists. The Lightning went 2-for-7 on the power play and went 5-for-5 on the PK against Florida.
The Islanders lost all three games they played against Tampa Bay in 2021-22, losing 4-1 twice and then 6-4 in the final game of their season. In the latter matchup, the Islanders led 2-1 after two periods off of goals from Kieffer Bellows, J.G. Pageau and Josh Bailey, but would then let up four unanswered goals along with an empty netter at the end. Stamkos scored two goals in this game as well. This game was highlighted by Zdeno Chara scoring the final goal of the season for the Islanders in what would be his final game in the NHL, and the Lightning all lined up to shake his hand after the game concluded.
The more obvious history between these teams features two Eastern Conference Final matchups in 2020 and 2021, both times ending with the Isles being defeated at the hands of Tampa Bay. The Islanders will look to defeat their playoff adversaries for the first time in the regular season since December 9th, 2019 when they won 5-1 in Tampa.
Players to Watch
Mathew Barzal has registered at least one assist in every game except one for the Islanders so far this season. Barzal, after Thursday night's loss against New Jersey, said “I don’t think we played a team with that kind of speed yet. That’s a fast hockey club over there. They make a ton of plays. Just got hit with a lot of speed. We were turning pucks over and feeding it." The Lightning are no slouches either, and Barzal knows that as well as anybody on the Islanders. If the Isles are to take a win on the road, Barzal is going to need to use his speed and skill to his advantage. According to Statmuse.com, Barzal has 11 career points in 12 regular season games against Tampa Bay.
Steven Stamkos has been scorching hot to start this season, scoring at least one goal in every game of this season. He has seven goals already this year and is coming off of a season where he scored 42 goals and 64 assists for a career-high 106 points. The Lightning captain has been their most effective player this season and has been able to remain relatively healthy even after another long playoff run. If his goal-scoring pattern continues, it means he's again due for a two-goal night.
Anthony Beauvillier-Mat Barzal-Kyle Palmieri
Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Oliver Wahlstrom
Zach Parise- J.G. Pageau- Nikita Soshnikov
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Noah Dobson
Sebastian Aho-Scott Mayfield
Extras: Ross Johnston, Keiffer Bellows, Robin Salo, Josh Bailey
Brandon Hagel-Brayden Point-Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn-Steven Stamkos-Vladislav Namestikov
Ross Colton-Nick Paul-Corey Perry
Patrick Maroon-Pierre-Édouard Bellemare- Cole Koepke
Victor Hedman-Eric Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev-Nicklaus Perbix
Ian Cole-Philippe Myers
Extras: Cal Foote, Haydn Fleury
IR: Zach Bogosian
LTIR: Anthony Cirelli