Thursday, February 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning responds with easy victory over Islanders

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — After losing three straight, including Sunday's embarrassment at Madison Square Garden, wing Alex Killorn said Tuesday's game with the Islanders needed to be a "turning point."

Coach Jon Cooper dubbed it a test.

Tampa Bay passed in a big way in a dominating 6-1 drubbing of the Islanders, drawing boos from the disgruntled crowd at the Barclays Center. The victory salvaged a split of a six-game, 12-day road trip for the Lightning, and could be a galvanizing moment for a Stanley Cup contender that had underachieved so far.

"Sometimes it just takes a spark," captain Steven Stamkos said. "It takes an embarrassing loss or a tough stretch. You're going to have tough stretches like that. It's how you can respond to that. In the scheme of it, it's one game. But it was what we wanted."

Stamkos said players were challenged by each other, and the coaching staff.

"Accountability has been the big word," he said.

Cooper showed the team clips Tuesday morning of the Lightning's 6-1 loss Sunday, then highlights from its better games this season. The message: Defend first, and let the skill take over.

The game began by Ryan Callahan defending a teammate, wing Jonathan Drouin, who left early in the first period after taking a hit to the head by Islanders defenseman Travis de Haan. Drouin didn't return but was in "good spirits," Cooper said. Callahan fought de Haan.

"That set the tone," Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkeokk said.

Nikita Kucherov, who had his best game of the season, scored his first of two power-play goals soon after. The Lightning (6-4) scored three first-period goals, matching its total from the first nine games combined.

"You could see how mentally prepared we were for the game," Kucherov said. "We started playing from the first minute up to 60."

The Lightning's top players were the driving force. Stamkos had a goal and assist with a team-high seven shots. Goalie Ben Bishop rebounded from Sunday with a 26-save performance.

The Lightning, which surrendered a dozen odd-man rushes Sunday, held the Islanders to six shots in the first 30 minutes, 27 total.

"Everyone did their job," Bishop said. "You can see the results when we play the right way."

Koekkoek, in his season debut, racked up two assists in an overall solid game, making a case to stick in the lineup. J.T. Brown (shorthanded breakaway), Valtteri Filppula and Brian Boyle also scored. Vladislav Namestnikov had a heck of a game.

Stamkos said the Lightning must use this as a springboard, an example of how it should play.

Cooper, who called his entire team passengers in Sunday's loss, had a much different view of this one.

"There weren't enough driver's seats," Cooper said. "It was good."

Lightning3306
Islanders0101
Lightning3306
Islanders0101

First—1, Tampa Bay, Kucherov 2 (Hedman, Stamkos), 3:21 (pp). 2, Tampa Bay, Kucherov 3 (Hedman, Killorn), 12:18 (pp). 3, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 7 (Koekkoek, Kucherov), 13:34.

Second—4, Tampa Bay, Boyle 2 (Callahan, Filppula), 6:17. 5, Tampa Bay, Brown 1, 9:30 (sh). 6, Tampa Bay, Filppula 4 (Koekkoek, Kucherov), 11:19. 7, N.Y. Islanders, Seidenberg 3 (Tavares, De haan), 19:30.

Third—None.

Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 14-16-6—36. N.Y. Islanders 4-8-15—27. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 2 of 7; N.Y. Islanders 0 of 4. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Bishop 4-3-0 (27 shots-26 saves). N.Y. Islanders, Halak 2-3-0 (25-22), Greiss 2-3-0 (11-8). A—10,822 (15,813). T—2:29. Referees—Steve Kozari, Brian Pochmara.

     
 
Comments
Lightning nearing end of road-heavy stretch

Lightning nearing end of road-heavy stretch

OTTAWA – The last time the Lightning played in Ottawa, back in early January, it was one of the team's worst games of the season.Coach Jon Cooper delivered a damning opening statement in his post-game press conference – saying "entitlemen...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning not planning to trade from current roster

Lightning not planning to trade from current roster

You can bet there were many Lightning fans that hoped Senators superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson jumped on Tampa Bay's bus post-game Thursday night.Karlsson, 27, Ottawa's two-time Norris Trophy winner, is the biggest prize leading up to Monday's tra...
Updated: 3 hours ago
U-S-A! U-S-A! Women’s hockey beats Canada for Olympic gold

U-S-A! U-S-A! Women’s hockey beats Canada for Olympic gold

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The Americans' gold medal drought in women's hockey is finally over. They needed the first shootout in an Olympic women's final to do it, too.Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored a dazzling, triple-deke goal in the sixth ...
Published: 02/22/18
Ryan Callahan regaining his confidence for Lightning

Ryan Callahan regaining his confidence for Lightning

When the Lightning put wing Ryan Callahan back on the power play a month ago, there were many reasons for the move.With Ondrej Palat suffering a lower-body injury Jan. 20, Tampa Bay needed a replacement who was fearless in front of the net and a rele...
Published: 02/21/18
The entire Lightning team was sent to Syracuse late Tuesday. Really

The entire Lightning team was sent to Syracuse late Tuesday. Really

On Tuesday night, the entire Lightning team was reassigned to Syracuse.Well, more like re-directed.The team's charter flight from Washington D.C. was diverted around midnight Tuesday night due to fog in Ottawa, where the Lightning was headed for a Th...
Published: 02/21/18
Lightning claims Gabriel Dumont off waivers

Lightning claims Gabriel Dumont off waivers

The Lightning got F Gabriel Dumont back, claiming him off waivers Wednesday from Ottawa.Dumont, 27, was reassigned to AHL Syracuse, where he will provide a veteran presence. He's a potential callup option down the stretch for a bottom six role and fa...
Published: 02/21/18
Nikita Kucherov’s trick shot sends Lightning past Capitals

Nikita Kucherov’s trick shot sends Lightning past Capitals

WASHINGTON — There was some lighthearted debate in the Lightning dressing room Tuesday night about whether the latest dazzling breakaway move by Nikita Kucherov was a deliberate fake or a slip off the stick.Some teammates playfully gave the All...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/21/18
Could Detroit’s Mike Green be next domino to fall at deadline?

Could Detroit’s Mike Green be next domino to fall at deadline?

The Red Wings have started wheeling and dealing, shipping goalie Petr Mrazek to the Flyers for a package of conditional draft picks.That has shifted focus to a potential Lightning target, Red Wings defenseman Mike Green, who is expected to be moved b...
Published: 02/20/18
Trade rumors can weigh on NHL players as deadline approaches

Trade rumors can weigh on NHL players as deadline approaches

WASHINGTON — Tyler Johnson was as good as gone.Or so it seemed.The scuttlebutt around last year's trade deadline was that the Lightning center could be the piece headed elsewhere to land a top-four defenseman. Maybe Nashville? St. Louis?Then th...
Published: 02/19/18
Better ‘D’ starts at home with Lightning

Better ‘D’ starts at home with Lightning

TAMPA – The Lightning still might land that top tier defenseman it certainly needs by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. But if that player was wearing a Tampa Bay sweater Saturday, would the outcome against the Devils have been any different?The Ligh...
Published: 02/19/18