Islanders Beat NHL-Best Lightning

NEW YORK — Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck each had a goal and an assist, Thomas Greiss stopped 38 shots, and the New York Islanders beat the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 Sunday night.

Brock Nelson, rookie Devon Toews and Josh Bailey also scored as New York had three goals in the opening five minutes and went on to get their 11th win in 14 games. Matt Martin had two assists to give each player on the Islanders’ fourth line two points.

Ryan McDonagh had a goal and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 23 saves for Tampa Bay, which was 18-1-1 in its previous 20. The Lightning — the NHL leaders in wins (35), points (72) and road wins (16) — lost in regulation for just the ninth time this season, but second in the last five games.

With Tampa Bay skating with an extra attacker with the goalie pulled, Greiss — who had 32 stops over the last 40 minutes — made a nice shoulder save sliding to his right on Steve Stamkos with about 4 1/2 minutes left to preserve New York’s 4-1 lead.

Bailey scored with 52 seconds left to cap the scoring.

Trailing by three after one period, the Lightning picked up their intensity in the second and outshot the Islanders 22-14.

However, Cizikas pushed New York’s lead to 4-0 with just under nine minutes left in the period as Martin sent a pass from the right corner across the front to Cizikas, who beat Vasilevskiy from the left side for his 11th.

Tampa Bay Lightning Andrei Vasilevskiy New York Islanders Casey Cizikas
Tampa Bay Lightning Andrei Vasilevskiy watches as New York Islanders’ Casey Cizikas scores. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

McDonagh got the Lightning on the scoreboard with 1:48 left in the middle period, beating Greiss from the left circle for his fifth. It came on Tampa Bay’s 28th shot on goal. Stamkos had an assist on the play, giving him seven assists and nine points in his last six games.

The Islanders went on the power play just 20 seconds in, when Tampa Bay’s Erik Cernak was whistled for high-sticking. They took advantage 1:01 later as Jordan Eberle sent a pass from behind the goal line to Vasilevskiy’s right across in front to Nelson, who fired it past the Lightning goalie on the stick side from the right circle. It was Nelson’s 16th, tying him with captain Anders Lee for the team lead.

Clutterbuck doubled the lead at 4:27 with his third of the season, and first since Nov. 15. After Cizikas had a takeaway in the offensive zone, he sent the puck to Martin, who passed it in front and Clutterbuck tipped it with the puck going off Vasilevski’s left skate and fluttering in the air over the goal line.

Toews made it 3-0 just 16 seconds later with a slap shot from the left point that pinged in off the goal post for his third. It gave the Islanders three goals on five shots.

The Lightning didn’t get their first shot on goal until 9:04 in, when Greiss stopped a slap shot by Yanni Gourde.

NOTES: Lightning D Mikhail Sergachev was fined $2,403.67 by the NHL, the maximum allowed under the league’s CBA, for cross-checking Buffalo’s Johan Larsson in the third period of the Lightning’s win Saturday night. … Tampa Bay D Victor Hedman left the game early in the second period after being accidentally hit in the face by an official. He did not return. … The Lightning lost against a Metropolitan Division team for the first time in 13 games this season. … Tampa Bay won the first meeting, 4-2 at home on Nov. 8. The teams conclude their season series Feb. 1 on Long Island at the Nassau Coliseum. … Toews now has three goals in his last six games. … Mathew Barzal had an assist on Nelson’s goal, giving him a team-leading 29. … New York scored at least four goals for the seventh time in the last 14 games.


Lightning: At Dallas on Tuesday night to finish a three-game trip.

Islanders: Host St. Louis on Tuesday night.


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Vin A. Cherwoo, The Associated Press