The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the New York Islanders 4-3.
Don't be too fooled by the score. This game wasn't even close until the third period. The Islanders dominated the Lightning for the first two-thirds of the game. If it hadn't been for Anders Lindback, the score would've been far more in the Islanders' favor.
In the first minute of the game, there were two fights right off the opening faceoff, followed by another pair of guys sent to the box before there could be another fight in the following faceoff, and then the Islanders got a 4-on-3 power play. The game had an interesting start, but perhaps it wasn't the most productive one for the Lightning.
The second period is where the wheels fell off. The Islanders scored three unanswered goals - one on the power play, and the other two at even strength. The Lightning had a grand total of 15 shot through two periods, however, and eight of those in the second. They weren't shooting a lot, and there were some neutral zone breakdowns that created opportunities for the Islanders, which they capitalized on.
In the third period, the Lightning mounted a comeback. After the Islanders' fourth goal, Martin St. Louis opened the scoring, and then Benoit Pouliot and Steven Stamkos added to it. So they, too, had their own stretch of scoring three unanswered goals in a period. Rookie Cory Conacher assisted on St. Louis's and Stamkos's goals, giving him four points in two games.
But, in the end, penalties did them in. Late in the third, the Lightning gave up a 5-on-3 power play, and were unable to tie the game up. They ended the game on a penalty kill, in fact.
Despite allowing four goals, Lindback didn't play poorly. He had a great game, faced 45 shots and stopped 41 of those. He just didn't get the support he needed to the first two periods to win the game.
As most Lightning fans know, today's afternoon game was Vincent Lecavalier's 1000th career NHL game - all in a Tampa Bay uniform, of course. According to many on Twitter, the New York Islanders did the classy thing and gave a tribute to Lecavalier playing his 1000th NHL game in Nassau, and the fans gave him an ovation. So, while the game itself may not have turned out as the Lightning might've liked it, at least the Islanders were classy enough to recognized Tampa Bay's captain for a major career milestone.
The Tampa Bay Lightning's next game is tomorrow, 22 January, at the Carolina Hurricanes. Game time is at 7 pm ET. The Raw Charge game thread will be available 30 minutes before the game. Hope to see you then.
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