TAMPA, Fla. – Trent Hunter made the Tampa Bay Lightning pay for an overtime miscue.
Hunter scored his second goal of the game 51 seconds into overtime, leading the New York Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Lightning on Thursday night.
“I was happy to see it go in,” Hunter said.
Tampa Bay goalie Olaf Kolzig misplayed the puck behind the net, which allowed Frans Nielsen to gain control and feed Hunter, who was alone in front of the goal.
“You hate to lose, that’s first and foremost,” Kolzig said. “Those things happen. There’s times where you get fortunate and the puck doesn’t find its way in. It was unfortunate play on my part. Go back to work tomorrow and don’t let it fester.”
Hunter credited Nielsen for the game-winner.
“He made a great play to pick off the pass, and I was just kind of waiting in the slot,” Hunter said. “He made a good pass, and I was just able to one-touch it in.”
Mike Comrie and Doug Weight also scored for the Islanders, who were coming off a 7-1 loss Monday to the Buffalo Sabres.
Vincent Lecavalier, Vinny Prospal and Ryan Malone each scored third-period goals for Tampa Bay.
“Things have not been going really great for us so far this year,” Prospal said. “To battle back and score three goals in the third, at least you get a point out of it.”
New Lightning coach Barry Melrose is still seeking his first victory with the team. Tampa Bay has dropped four in a row – including two overtime defeats – to start the season.
Comrie put the Islanders ahead 1-0 on a rebound goal at 2:47 of the first. Weight made it 2-0 during a power play with 6:06 left in the second.
Lecavalier cut the Tampa Bay deficit to 2-1 at 3:43 of the third when he skated in from the right wing and scored from the low slot. Prospal tied it at two on an in-close rebound at 12:02.
Hunter extended his goal-scoring streak to three games to give New York a 3-2 advantage with 6:09 left in the third. Malone pulled the Lightning even again at three-all at 14:57 of the period.
“We could have easily had a letdown after they tied it up,” Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. “We responded the right way.”
The announced crowd was 14,420, but the actual turnout appeared smaller. That could be attributed to the fact that the Tampa Bay Rays were playing Game 5 of the American League championship Thursday night in Boston.
Notes: New York G Rick DiPietro (undisclosed injury) hasn’t play in any of the Islanders’ four games this season. He was the backup Thursday. Gordon said DiPietro is day-to-day. … Tampa Bay D Paul Ranger (shoulder surgery) played for the first time this season. … It was the 2,800th regular season game for the Islanders. … Free agent D Marek Malik is working out with Tampa Bay and could soon be signed by the team.