Game 27: Tampa Bay Lightning versus New York Islanders

The Lightning's Matt Carle defends against the Islanders' Frans Nielsen during Thursday's 2-0 loss at the Tampa Bay Times Forum - Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports Images

Once again, the Lightning are unable to put all the pieces together, squandering solid efforts from their defense and goaltender Anders Lindback in losing 2-0 to the visiting New York Islanders.

The New York Islanders shut out the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Thursday night.

The refrain echoing around the yet-again sold-out Tampa Bay Times Forum is frustration. But it's not the same note being played every night. It seems to be slightly different every game. Tonight, they played well defensively and Anders Lindback, who had been singled out for criticism, turned in his second consecutive solid showing, stopping 27 of the 28 shots he faced. The Lightning generated no offense to speak of, however.

"Had a couple of good chances and a couple of good looks. Just didn't get the job done. We're getting some chances, just not finding the back of the net. We definitely need to generate some more shots and more havoc in front of the goaltender." - Lightning forward Ryan Malone

The two teams swapped zeroes in the opening frame but the Islanders finally struck the first blow (and what would turn out to be the game winning goal) at 10:22 of the second, with John Tavares scoring on the power play with assists from Matt Moulson and Brad Boyes. It was the only time all night the Bolts would find themselves shorthanded.

For their part, the Islanders only had to go on the penalty kill twice all night, successfully holding off Tampa Bay both times.

New York would record an empty netter with 39 seconds remaining to push the final score to 2-0, Boyes scoring on an assist from Andrew MacDonald.

Getting shots on goal was a problem once again for the Lightning, registering only six each period and getting outshot 29-18 on the night.

Islanders netminder Evgeni Nabokov got the shutout win.

"It's the scoring chances and they're the same. We don't want to shoot when it's not time. Seventeen chances we passed on and I don't accept that. That can create rebounds and chaos and that's where goals come from." - Lightning head coach Guy Boucher

The Lightning's next game will be Saturday night when they host the Southeast division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.

Game notes:

  • Stat of the night? The Lightning have now handed out $3.5 million in donations since beginning the Community Heroes program at the beginning of last season.
  • This was the Islanders' only visit to Tampa Bay this season.
  • Tyler Johnson made his NHL debut tonight with the Lightning, wearing number 63. He becomes the fourth player this year to wear a number not previously worn in team history, joining Benoit Pouliot (67), Radko Gudas (75) and Cory Conacher (89).
  • This was only the second regulation loss to the Islanders in the last 14 games played at the Tampa Bay Times Forum (10-2-3)
  • Steven Stamkos' latest goal-scoring streak comes to an end after three games.
  • The Lightning's home losing streak is now at four games, their longest skid at home since March of 2010. The last time they lost more than four consecutive home games was March of 2009 when they lost six straight.
  • The Lightning honored Dana Pounds as the 29th Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game. Pounds, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to The Sustany Foundation and Nature's Academy. A marine biologist and cancer survivor, she is passionate about environment conservation and her goal is to keep our Florida beaches beautiful and pristine. While she was opening her organization, Natures Academy, Pounds was diagnosed with cancer and lost her right leg from the disease. She was determined to not let the cancer slow her down and has since educated more than 5,200 participants about the importance of our natural habitat and removed approximately 1,500 pounds of litter from the environment. She has been treating her surroundings with due respect for many years and believes that educating people by example and informing through first-hand nature experiences is the best way for the public to see how important it is to protect the environment. Pounds' hope is that before it is too late, we cherish and protect the beauty that surrounds the Tampa Bay community.
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