TAMPA — After allowing two goals in the last 2:32 of the first period in Game 1 against the Islanders, the Lightning seemed to be just a bit off Wednesday. Trailing 3-1 after Shane Prince's second goal of the first period with just 2.1 seconds left, it took the Lightning another period to get going again.
Although the club lost 5-3 in the second-round opener at Amalie Arena, the Lightning showed in the third period the formula to have success against the Islanders.
"We turned the puck over a lot," Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. "We gave them opportunities to make plays by being a little bit too cute in the neutral zone.
"Going into the third, we wanted to take something with us. We got close. We wanted to tie it up late there, but we got two goals. We had some opportunities to tie the game up. We didn't do it. We'll make sure we get better for next game."
Trailing 4-1 entering the third, Tampa Bay amped up its attack and peppered Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss with 17 of the team's 36 shots. The result was goals by Nikita Kucherov and Valtteri Filppula to cut the deficit to 4-3 with 2:32 left.
Tampa Bay had a couple of chances for the tying goal, but the Islanders scored an empty-netter for the final margin.
"We adjusted," Lighting center Tyler Johnson said of the team's play in the third period. "We were making plays. We were making passes on the tape instead of throwing the puck away like we did. We started to do it but just not long enough.
"It's only one game. It's a seven-game series for a reason. We've been down before in a series. We lost the first game of a series. We've been here before."
Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper didn't seem too concerned. He thought the game was pretty even except for that Islanders burst late in the first.
"We had some five-bell chances," Cooper said. "We pressed. We got it to one. When you put yourself in a 4-1 hole it's tough to come back from those, but there is something to build on, and we'll definitely build off that third period."