1. Lightning

Joe Smith's takeaways from Lightning-Islanders

Published Dec. 5, 2017

The first period was one of the Lightning's best 20 minutes of the season. It was dominant, holding the Islanders to three shot attempts. The first half of the second? Yikes. Another example of how Tampa Bay is still trying to find the consistency it had in a strong start to the season.

Cory Conacher is playing like a guy who doesn't want to go back to AHL Syracuse. Conacher, called up as a fill-in during Cedric Paquette's one-game suspension, hasn't given the Lightning any reason to take him out of the lineup, with two points in the past two games. An interesting internal option for another top-nine wing.

Remember the complaints about the Lightning carrying eight defensemen? The depth has come in handy, with Jake Dotchin and Braydon Coburn sidelined with undisclosed injuries. Slater Koekkoek and Andrej Sustr have stepped in, with Sustr adding his second goal of the season Tuesday. Koekkoek had an assist.


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