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Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning’s win over the Islanders

Appreciating Palat, Stamkos scare, Vasilveskiy's two seasons.
Steven Stamkos, who had a scare in warmups while not wearing a helmet, shakes hands with referee Dave Jackson following the game against the Islanders. (Getty Images)
Published Mar. 23, 2018
Updated Mar. 23, 2018

— Ondrej Palat is a player you appreciate even more after he has been gone for a while. Palat, in his second game back from a lower-body injury, does all the little things well. His defensive-zone steal and transition helped fuel Brayden Point's second-period goal.

— It's surprising that many NHL players still don't wear helmets during warmups. Steven Stamkos is one of them, and he had a scare before Thursday's game, taking a puck off the back of his head. The shot had caromed off a post. Could have been a lot worse.

— Andrei Vasilevskiy's season is a tale of two halves. The goalie, an early Vezina Trophy favorite, gave up three or more goals in just 11 of his first 33 starts. In his last 26 he has done it 18 times, including Thursday.

RELATED: Rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev scores his first goal since Dec. 16.

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