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Lightning do not win as Islanders score more goals than they do

Feb 8, 2024; Elmont, New York, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Nicholas Paul (20) attempted a short defended by New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) during the first period at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

There are some games where the final score doesn’t reflect the game that was played on the ice. Tonight was not one of those games. The Tampa Bay Lightning lost 6-2 to the New York Islanders on a night where the Isles were the better team in pretty much every aspect of the game. Six different Islanders scored while the Bolts offense came from Nikita Kucherov (who else) and Brandon Hagel. Jonas Johansson was in net for all six goals against and ended with 18 saves.

There is no need to delve too in depth into this game. The Lightning coming off an emotional loss to the Rangers on Wednesday came out flat and were flummoxed by the New York forecheck. The Bolts struggled to exit with possession and their turnovers ended up in the back of the net. The Islanders scored three times in the first period while the Bolts mustered just 12 total shot attempts.

One of those came from Kucherov, who flung a shot from distance that hit a player in front of the net and deflected past Ilya Sorokin. Down 3-1 entering the second the Bolts were on the power play and converted. Anthony Cirelli set the edge on the defender and was able to drive the net. Sorokin stopped his shot, but the rebound was their for Brandon Hagel to put home. It was Hagel’s first power play goal of the year and 18th overall.

With the scored 3-2, the Bolts were back in the game with a chance to get their legs going and make a contest out of it. That’s not what happened. New York scored the next three over a span of eight minutes and it was all but over.

With the game firmly in hand the Islanders eased off the pedal a bit and the Lightning were able to even the stats a bit but they really didn’t threaten the net much. Sorokin, who ended up with 16 saves on 18 shots, wasn’t really challenged in the third.

Hopefully, the Lightning are back into their routine as they head off to Columbus and can salvage this road trip with a win there and a strong performance against the Bruins in the game that follows. If not, they’ll quickly undo all of the progress they made during their winning streak.

Noah Dobson (J.G. Pageau) 1-0 Islanders

Nikita Kucherov (Darren Raddysh, Brayden Point) 1-1

Mathew Barzal (Bo Hovart) 2-1 Islanders

Kyle Pameiri

Brandon Hagel (Anthony Cirelli, Victor Hedman) Power Play 3-2 Islanders

Ryan Pulock (Pierre Engvall) Power Play, 4-2 Islanders

Bo Horvat (Mathew Barzal, Adam Pelech) 5-2

Casey Cizikas (unassisted) 6-2 Islanders

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