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Tampa Bay Lightning loses fifth in a row, 5-1 to New York Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Marty St. Louis said it so softly you would have missed it if you were not paying attention.

Sitting in the locker room Tuesday night after the Lightning was dismissed 5-1 by the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, St. Louis was blunt.

That, the left wing said, "was a beating."

It also was Tampa Bay's fifth straight loss, matching its worst streak of the season, though in this streak, in which the Lightning (11-14-2) has been outscored 20-8, each loss was in regulation.

"Horrible," coach Guy Boucher said.

Worse, Tampa Bay was dominated and outshot 34-24 by a team with a league-worst 57 goals.

Oh, there were excuses.

The Lightning played the second of back-to-back games and got to its hotel from Ottawa at 3 a.m. Did it have an effect? You can't deny the team had no legs.

The Islanders skated circles around the Lightning and scored three goals in the final six minutes of the first period to overcome a 1-0 Tampa Bay lead built on St. Louis' goal — his 800th NHL point — 6:55 in.

John Tavares scored on a wrist shot with 5:59 left. Matt Martin made it 2-1 with 1:34 left and Milan Jurcina scored on the power play with 5.5 seconds left to make it 3-1 after Frans Neilsen and Mark Streit put on a passing show.

The common denominator was how much room the Islanders had to skate. Few times were they challenged coming over the blue line, and they had plenty of room in the offensive zone, which hung goaltender Mathieu Garon out to dry.

Garon said criticism of the team's recent inability to score is misplaced.

"When you give up four or five goals in a game you're not going to win," he said. "It starts in our zone."

That said, Tampa Bay was 0-for-3 on the power play and is on a 2-for-25 road streak.

"I hope everyone is angry," left wing Ryan Malone said. "We're not working hard enough or doing what we need to do hard and smart."

Boucher said he believed the back-to-back and bad travel at least partly to blame. But that doesn't change the players' responsibility, he said.

"It's a decision you make," he said. "If you decide you want to be negative, you be negative," he said. "If you decide you want to be better, you do what you need to do to be better."

"You can't wait for something good to happen, you have to make something happen," St. Louis said. "It doesn't have to be a goal. It's a good defensive play. It's a smart play. We're not getting those consistently."

The beatings, well, those are another story.

Islanders 3 0 2 5
Lightning 1 0 0 1

First1, T.B., St. Louis 9 (Clark, Stamkos), 6:55. 2, NYI, Tavares 9 (Moulson, Okposo), 14:01. 3, NYI, Martin 3 (Wallace, Reasoner), 18:26. 4, NYI, Jurcina 1 (Nielsen, Streit), 19:54 (pp). PenaltiesNielsen, NYI (holding), 1:12; Thompson, TB (boarding), 19:06.

SecondNone. PenaltiesReese, NYI (tripping), 1:27; Hedman, TB (hooking), 4:25; Bergeron, TB (cross-checking), 6:55; Hedman, TB (hooking), 9:36; Jurcina, NYI (cross-checking), 18:22.

Third5, NYI, Ullstrom 1 (Bailey, Staios), 3:19. 6, NYI, Moulson 14 (Tavares, Streit), 17:25 (pp). PenaltiesStamkos, TB (cross-checking), 16:17. ShotsTampa Bay 8-11-5—24. N.Y. Islanders 14-11-9—34. Power playsTampa Bay 0 of 3; N.Y. Islanders 2 of 5. GoaliesTampa Bay, Garon 5-6-1 (34 shots-29 saves). N.Y. Islanders, Montoya 5-3-2 (24-23). A9,486 (16,234). T2:19.

Tampa Bay Lightning loses fifth in a row, 5-1 to New York Islanders 12/06/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 9:09am]
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