UNIONDALE, N.Y.— Jon Cooper had a natural choice for the shootout. The Lightning coach tapped Victor Hedman.
The Lightning had only played in three shootouts and Hedman had scored in two of them (the only two he took a shot).
Hedman stepped up, made a little move and fired it past goalie Thomas Greiss. Goal. And it turned out to be the game. Now, Hedman is 3-for-3.
“That was very impressive,” Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy said, “especially for a defenseman.”
Some odds and ends from the Lightning’s 1-0 win over the Islanders:
Nearing the record. Vasilevskiy recorded his 16th career shutout. He is now within one of Ben Bishop’s 17, the most in Lightning history.
Hot right now. The Lightning may be the best team in the NHL, but the Islanders are the best team since mid-December. The Lightning is 12-4-1 since Dec. 15 and the Islanders are 15-3-1.
Let's get physical. The Lightning has played two of its more physical games of the season in its last two. Friday’s didn't feature many penalties, but was just as chippy. There was a scrum in front of the Islanders’ bench that looked like it could become something.
Good after a loss. The Lightning is now 12-1-0 after a loss. Tampa Bay has outscored opponents 61-26 in those games, including the win over the Islanders.
Killing it. The Lightning’s power play was perfect on four kills against the Islanders. Tampa Bay has not allowed more than one power-play goal in any of the last 14 games. It has killed 37 of 42 in that span.