UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Yann Danis and the New York Islanders are on quite a roll.
Danis stopped 29 shots and the Islanders beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Tuesday night for their season-best fourth straight victory. “I feel like every puck is hitting me,” Danis said. “Even if I can’t see the puck, I’m usually in proper position and it hits me.”
Danis has allowed seven goals in New York’s surge.
“He controlled his rebounds,” Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. “That’s the biggest improvement I’ve seen. He was solid tonight.”
Trent Hunter, Mark Streit and Radek Martinek scored in the second period for the Islanders.
“We took advantage on a couple of plays and scored goals,” Islanders captain Bill Guerin said. “Yan’s really found his game, and we’re having fun.”
Karri Ramo started in net for the Lightning and stopped 13 shots before he was pulled for Mike McKenna, making his NHL debut. McKenna made 11 saves.
“It wasn’t his fault,” Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. “I was just trying to wake the guys up a little. It was one of those things.”
McKenna, who was playing for Norfolk of the American League before he was signed by Tampa Bay, was fine in his debut.
“I was a little jittery, but it didn’t last very long,” McKenna said. “After I faced the first shot, I was fine.”
Vincent Lecavalier scored for Tampa Bay, which has lost three consecutive games after winning three in a row.
Hunter’s power-play goal made it 1-0 in the second and the Islanders extended the lead by scoring twice in a 93-second span.
At 8:29, Streit’s right-point shot deflected off Ramo and in. Martinek then converted from the right point, chasing Ramo from the game.
Tampa Bay’s best chance to score in the period came with just over two minutes left, when Vaclav Prospal hit the post on a wrist shot.
“The second period, we’re down 3-0 and put ourselves in a tough hole,” forward Ryan Craig said. “You create your own breaks, and we need that sense of urgency.”
Tampa Bay finally broke through at 3:05 in the third. With two seconds left on a two-man advantage, Lecavalier’s wrist shot from the top of the right circle got past Danis.
“We’re learning not to panic when the other team scores a goal,” Islanders defenceman Brendan Witt said. “We have a lot of kids here, and they need to go through something like that to realize it.”
The scoreless opening period featured 11 shots for Tampa Bay, seven for New York, and a fight between star forward Lecavalier and Islanders enforcer Tim Jackman.
Notes: One of the bright spots on the Lightning, goaltender Mike Smith, was scratched. He’s listed on the team. He’s day to day with an upper-body injury. … On the Islanders’ side, Joey MacDonald, who missed time with a groin strain, was healthy enough to serve as Danis’ backup.