TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Bay is turning production from its top offensive players into victories.
Martin St. Louis scored in his fifth consecutive game, Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist and the Lightning beat the New York Islanders 5-2 on Thursday night. “I think as a team we’ve got our confidence to win games,” Stamkos said. “It’s all going in the right direction at the right time.”
Vincent Lecavalier and Alex Tanguay also scored for the Lightning, who have won six of nine.
New York got goals from Matt Moulson and Jon Sim. The Islanders have lost six in a row, scoring eight goals over the stretch.
“It has snowballed,” Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. “Very rarely do you have your whole team go cold. It’s hard to believe that we’re not scoring on some of those chances and it’s been consistent that we haven’t.”
After St. Louis pulled the Lightning even at 2 with 10:23 left in the second, Lecavalier made it 3-2 off a pass from Tanguay during a 2-on-none break against goalie Dwayne Roloson just 36 seconds later.
Stamkos scored during a power play to put the Lightning up 1-0 at 14:15 of the first. Moulson tied it at 1 just over a minute later when his shot went into the net off both of Lightning defenceman Andrej Meszaros’ skates.
“We’ve got to score some goals, plain and simple,” New York right wing Kyle Okposo said.
Stamkos gave Tampa Bay a 4-2 advantage with his 31st goal this season from the right circle after carrying the puck from the Lightning zone with 8:11 remaining in the third. Tanguay added an empty-netter with 37.3 seconds to play.
The Islanders had the initial 11 shots in the second and went ahead 2-1 on the final shot of the sequence when Sim scored from the low slot at 9:12.
“The game is about momentum,” St. Louis said. “If you get that momentum back there it’s huge. I felt we got better as the game went on.”
Tampa Bay goalie Antero Niittymaki made 34 saves and won for the fifth time in his last six starts. Roloson stopped 26 shots.
“It was an ugly game, but we held on,” Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. “A win is always great.”
NOTES: The Islanders assigned D Brendan Witt to Bridgeport of the AHL after he cleared waivers. … Stamkos has six goals and 13 points during an eight-game point streak. … New York C Josh Bailey is expected to miss two weeks with an upper-body injury. … Islanders rookie LW John Tavares has gone nine games without a goal and has just two goals in his last 26 games. He was a minus-2 and had one shot during 16 minutes, 50 seconds of playing time Thursday. … New York has been outscored 65-31 in the third period this season.