TAMPA — Josh Bailey proved problematic for the Lightning on multiple occasions Thursday, but when it mattered most, he couldn't find a way to thwart the Lightning's momentum one last time.
Tyler Johnson didn't leave enough time for Bailey, who scored once in the first period and again in the third to tie the game at 2-2.
Johnson scored the game-winning goal with 1:26 left to give the Lightning a 3-2 lead. Steven Stamkos cemented the 4-2 victory with an empty-net goal.
The Lightning improves to 12-3-1 with a league-leading 25 points. This is the second consecutive season in which the Lightning has reached the 25-point mark in 16 games or less.
Here's a recap of the third-period goals:
Islanders 2, Lightning 2: With 11:17 left in the third, Josh Bailey scores his second goal as he put a puck in that trickled past Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and Stralman.
Lightning 3, Islanders 2: Johnson scored his sixth goal of the season after a pass from Nikita Kucherov. Kucherov had the chance at a point-blank shot, which forced Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner to slide to his left. It left the other side of the net open for Johnson to finish. Yanni Gourde also picked up an assist on the goal.
Lightning 4, Islanders 2: Steven Stamkos scored an empty-net goal with 10 seconds left in regulation.
Make it two for Mathieu Joseph.
The Lightning rookie scored the first goal of his career against Ottawa last Sunday. He added to that with an equalizing goal in the second against the Islanders on Thursday.
"Obviously it's fun to score at home with the fans and everything for sure," Joseph said. "The atmosphere was great. Scoring my first goal at home is definitely a good feeling, but I think in general, we just tried to execute the details out there and play a good game."
The Lightning then built off that momentum, putting together a much more aggressive offensive attack in the second period. It's why the Lightning left the second with a lead.
Here's a recap of the second-period goals:
Lightning 1, Islanders 1: With 14:02 left in the second period, Mathieu Joseph rifled a puck from the left circle as he sped down the ice. Alex Killorn and Anton Stralman picked up the assists.
Lightning 2, Islanders 1: J.T. Miller scored his fifth goal of the season with 8:48 left in the second period. Mikhail Sergachev set up Miller for a one-timer in the right circle with a no-look pass. Steven Stamkos also picked up an assist.
Both the Islanders and the Lightning went on the power play twice in the first period, but the Islanders created more chances.
They fired off 16 shots in the opening frame compared to the Lightning's seven as they jumped out to an early lead over the Lightning.
Yet another period in which a Barry Trotz-coached team has shut out the Lightning. The Capitals, of course, shut out the Lightning in both Game 6 and Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last spring.
Islanders 1, Lightning 0: Josh Bailey scored less than three minutes into the game as he flipped around to sneak the puck to the left of Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. Anton Stralman and Yanni Gourde tried to take the puck away from Bailey, but both failed.