In their final contest before hitting the road to Sweden, the Tampa Bay Lightning looked to enter what is essentially a “bye” week on a high note with a win over the New York Islanders, who were starting Thomas Greiss in net against Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Bolts, fresh off Wednesday night’s thrilling comeback victory in overtime against the New Jersey Devils, entered Friday night with a record of 6-4-2.
A win for Tampa Bay would see them take two out of three games on this short road trip and give the team positive momentum leading into the 2019 NHL Global Series.
A fast-paced, yet non-eventful opening period
The game began with a lot of continuous play in the first period. Both sides exchanged scoring chances early, but neither side found the back of the net in the first 20 minutes. The Islanders earned the game’s first power play when Mikhail Sergachev was called for hooking at the 6:20 mark. The only other penalties to come in the period were fighting majors to Luke Witkowski and Ross Johnston for a skirmish at 12:51. This provided the only excitement in a relatively dull period.
Offenses break through
After a scoreless first period, it took only 4:58 for the Islanders to break the 0-0 tie in the second. Matthew Barzal took a pass from Nicholas Leddy and fired a wrister past Vasilevskiy to give New York a 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take the Bolts long after to return fire. Just seconds after an unsuccessful Lightning power play, Yanni Gourde fired a backhander that bounced off the post and in.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 2, 2019
The Islanders broke the tie at the 11:33 mark as Ryan Pulock converted a one-timer to give New York a 2-1 lead after two periods.
Greiss stands tall against onslaught of Tampa Bay shots
Tampa Bay turned up the intensity on offense in the third period, shooting early and often on Greiss. The New York netminder weathered the storm nicely to keep his team ahead throughout the game’s final frame.
With the Lightning unable to convert on their early scoring chances in the period, Josh Bailey put the Islanders up 3-1 at the 12:41 mark. Less than two minutes later, the New York lead was increased to three when Anders Lee converted a shot that banked off Vasilevskiy into the net. Greiss continued to withstand tremendous pressure from the Lightning throughout the period but answered the bell each time. As a result, the Islanders built a comfortable 4-1 lead late in game.
With Vasilevskiy on the bench and the extra skater on the ice, Tampa Bay cut into the New York lead. Ryan McDonagh fired through traffic and benefited from a deflection by Ondrej Palat to give the Lightning their second goal with 1:57 to go. This would be the last goal Tampa Bay would score in the game.
The Islanders found the empty net on Derrick Brassard’s goal with 36 seconds left. As the clock ticked down to zeros on Long Island, the Bolts were on the wrong end of a 5-2 affair.
Lightning suffer third loss in last four games
This defeat for Tampa Bay marks their 3rd in the last 4 games. It was a game in which the power play struggled, going 0-for-3 on the night.
It was also a rare game in which Tampa Bay out-shot their opponent. Despite the 36-26 shot advantage, the Lightning ran into a hot goaltender who refused to break down and frustrated the Lightning offense all night.
Tampa Bay now stands at 6-5-2 as they enter their week off before the Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden.
Our Three Stars of the Game
- Thomas Greiss – Stopped 34 of 36 shots.
- Josh Bailey – Finished the night with one goal and one assist.
- Yanni Gourde – Scored his second goal of the season.
The road ahead
The Lightning’s games next weekend in Sweden against the Buffalo Sabres will be their first regular season games in Europe since 2008. This will be a back-to-back on Friday, November 8th and Saturday, November 9th.
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