Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning up next: Islanders snap two-game skid

NEW YORK — Travis Hamonic got New York off to a fast start, and then Brock Nelson and Shane Prince helped the Islanders pull away in the third period for a big win.

Prince and Nelson each had a goal and an assist, and Casey Cizikas and Josh Bailey also scored to help New York beat the Maple Leafs 5-1 Sunday night to snap a two-game skid.

Hamonic put the Islanders ahead 1:01 into the game, and Prince and Nelson scored 2:39 apart in the third after the Maple Leafs had pulled within one.

"We had a real good start," Prince said." We laid back a little bit there end of the first, into the second."

Thomas Greiss stopped 33 shots, and Nikolay Kulemin, Nick Leddy and Dennis Seidenberg each had two assists for New York.

"Greiss has been playing really well all year for us," Prince said. "He made some big saves for us. He kept us in it. He just held off long enough for us to get a couple of insurance goals."

The Islanders next host the Lightning on Tuesday night in the teams' first meeting since the Lightning eliminated them in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season.

Jake Gardiner scored for the Maple Leafs, and Jhonas Enroth finished with 30 saves. Toronto lost its second straight overall and sixth in a row on the road (0-3-3).

"It's not the goal scoring. It's the goals you give up," coach Mike Babcock said.

After Gardiner scored 50 seconds into the third to pull the Maple Leafs within 2-1, Prince and Nelson scored 2:39 apart to stretch New York's lead to three.

Hamonic's opening goal was the eighth in the past five games for New York defensemen, who have nine goals and 10 assists on the season.

Toronto rookie sensation Auston Matthews, the top pick in the 2016 draft, registered four shots in his first career appearance against the Islanders.

Former Islander Matt Martin and Andrew Ladd got into a skirmish near the end of the second period. Ladd, who signed a seven-year $38.5 million contract with the Islanders in the offseason, has just one assist in nine games.

NOTES: Jaroslav Halak backed up Greiss after Halak was reportedly put on the trade block. Halak's agent, Allan Walsh (also the agent for the Lightning's Jonathan Drouin), voiced his displeasure with the Islanders' three-goalie rotation on Twitter on Friday.

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