UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Lightning played a real stinker Wednesday night, losing 2-1 in overtime to the Islanders.
You're going to get those now and then, but the game at Nassau Coliseum is one after which you pound your head against a wall.
A win would have put Tampa Bay first in the Southeast Division, and it was facing the league's worst team to boot, a team that had won two of its previous 23.
So consider it an understatement when coach Guy Boucher said, despite the point for the regulation tie, "My disappointment level is extremely high."
Especially considering the Lightning (19-10-5), which had won four straight, lost a 1-0 first-period lead to a team that was 0-15-3 when an opponent scored first.
Especially considering Tampa Bay, which had the league's top power play, went 1-for-6 with the man advantage and, after Ryan Malone's goal with 8:32 left in the first period, blew four straight chances to put its foot on New York's neck and increase the lead to two.
"It wasn't the effort. It was letting them hang around," Boucher said. "You don't have the killer instinct. A team like that, they work hard, and all of a sudden when they see there's hope, they push the pace and get some opportunities."
P.A. Parenteau tied the score with 17 seconds left in the second period with a shot from a severe angle that goalie Dan Ellis should have stopped, but the puck skidded under him.
John Tavares won it with a rebound with 1:37 left in the extra period.
"It's very disappointing," captain Vinny Lecavalier said. "If we could have buried one more, we could have changed the whole game. Our whole execution was off, and we gave them a lot."
Such as 21 turnovers.
Coaches and players had stressed the importance of not overlooking the Islanders. Boucher even said he wanted the players to treat it as a playoff game. But after a first period in which Tampa Bay had a 16-3 shot advantage, New York outshot the Lightning 25-19.
If not for some good work by Ellis, who made 26 saves, New York, which got 34 saves from Dwayne Roloson, might have won in regulation.
For Boucher, it all came down to the power play. "We lost momentum because of it," he said. "We were running around trying stuff that wasn't there. We're just throwing pucks into areas they're not supposed to be. So when your power play loses momentum, it has a tendency to hurt the rest of your game."
"We didn't have the drive," Ellis said. "When you play a desperate hockey team that works hard, you have to work hard in order to capitalize, and we didn't quite do that."
First Period—1, Tampa Bay, Malone 10 (Clark, Purcell), 11:28 (pp). Penalties—Gillies, NYI (interference), 10:05; Hamonic, NYI (high-sticking), 14:18; Jurcina, NYI (interference), 16:42.
Second Period—2, N.Y. Islanders, Parenteau 6 (Tavares, MacDonald), 19:43. Penalties—Thompson, TB (hooking), 2:48; Hedman, TB (hooking), 8:33; Tavares, NYI (hooking), 10:10; Tavares, NYI (high-sticking), 12:23.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Gillies, NYI (roughing), 3:51. Overtime—3, N.Y. Islanders, Tavares 9 (Wisniewski, MacDonald), 3:23. Penalties—None. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 16-9-9-1—35. N.Y. Islanders 3-10-10-5—28. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 1 of 6; N.Y. Islanders 0 of 2. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Ellis 9-5-5 (28 shots-26 saves). N.Y. Islanders, Roloson 3-12-1 (35-34). A—7,324 (16,234)