Islanders escape with blowout win in Tampa
The title of this article may seem misleading but it’s the truth; The Islanders escaped with a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night. The reason? Tampa Bay controlled almost half of the game but couldn’t capitalize on any of their chances. The Islanders were able to do so, both with hard work and a little puck luck.
After a very impressive scoreless first period by the Islanders, they got scoring from some unlikely sources. The first goal of the game was scored by noted sniper Ross Johnston, who has recently gotten some time on the first line with Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey.
The aforementioned Bailey increased the lead to 2-0 on a Tampa Power Play. Casey Cizikas dove and poked the puck to a wide open Bailey, who went on a breakaway and beat Curtis McElhinney up high. Unfortunately for the Islanders, they couldn’t keep the Lightning off the scoresheet as Steven Stamkos pushed Derick Brassard off in the slot and backhanded one past a diving Semyon Varlamov.
The Islanders were on their toes for about the first six minutes of the third period. Tampa kept it in their zone for almost the entirety of that span, including a PP that produced nothing. The Islanders were able to weather the storm (no pun intended) and score a goal after the onslaught. Brock Nelson took a bad bounce off the boards and chipped one into the net on a second effort.
Nelson later scored his second goal of the game off a beautiful feed to the slot by Anders Lee. Lee got a goal of his own on the Islanders’ PP late, tipping a Josh Bailey shot-pass into the net to seal the deal. Semyon Varlamov was excellent with 31 saves on 32 shots.
The Islanders took the game 5-1 and are now 1-1-0 on their three game road trip. Their next game is in South Florida against the Panthers on Thursday. This is the third fastest the Islanders have reached 20 wins in franchise history.
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