The Upshot: Islanders take care of business in 6-1 win over Tampa Bay
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Islanders scored four goals in the second period and defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1 at UBS Arena in Elmont, New York, on Thursday night. Adam Pelech scored his sixth goal of the season at 3:46 of the second period to open the scoring. Brock Nelson, Kyle Palmieri, and Ryan Pulock each scored in the second period for the Islanders (40-30-9). Simon Holmstrom and Bo Horvat added third-period goals, and Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves in the win. Nikita Kucherov had the Lightning (45-28-6) goal, and Brian Elliot made 35 saves in the loss. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos played in his 1,000th NHL game.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The Islanders had jump from the onset, playing with energy and finding their game early against a Tampa Bay Lightning team that had played a physical and emotional game against the New York Rangers the previous night at Madison Square Garden. Even after a scoreless first period, they kept up the tempo, scoring four times in the second period. For the game, the Islanders outshot the Lightning 42-31 and had 45 scoring chances per Natural Stat Trick.
The biggest goal of the game came in the final seconds of the second period. After Nikita Kucherov scored to make it a 3-1 game, Ryan Pulock wrist shot off a Brock Nelson feed gave the Islanders a three-goal lead heading into the third period to keep the Isles firmly in control.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Nothing went wrong on the ice at UBS Arena, but elsewhere the Islanders didn't receive any help as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1 and the Florida Panthers handled the Ottawa Senators 7-2 in Sunrise, Fl. As much drama as their continues to be in the wild card stands, all three games were absent of drama last night. As a result, the Islanders remain in the eighth playoff spot, tied in points with the Panthers and one point ahead of the Penguins.
STATS OF THE GAME
Per NHL PR, Brock Nelson notched the 38th game-winning goal of his NHL career to pass Bob Bourne and Brent Sutter (both w/ 37) and tie Anders Lee and Bobby Nystrom for sixth place on the franchise’s all-time list
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
The threat of rain has never postponed a hockey game which meant Brandon Nimmo and Luis Guillorme were able to attend the game at UBS Arena. They were probably expecting to be off on Friday, so hopefully, they're ready for the 1:10 PM start at Citi Field this afternoon vs. the Marlins.
The Islanders next take the ice on Saturday night when they host the Philadelphia Flyers. Face-off from UBS Arena is set for 7:30 PM ET.