Sticking to the plan is exactly what the Lightning have been doing all season long – whether they win or lose the game, Guy Boucher’s plan remains the same. They have stuck with what has given them success and though they have hit a snag losing six of their past seven and came into Long Island riding a season high 3 game slide, the plan never deviated.
The Lightning (9-7-2) did what they’ve done all season long attacking the puck, shooting the puck and creating as many offensive chances as they could against the Islanders and the end result brought success by way of a 4-2 win over the Islanders (4-11-3).
Dan Ellis starting in goal for the fourth time in five games stopping 34 shots to pick up his fifth win, Steven Stamkos netted a goal and an assist while Martin St. Louis, Brett Clark and former Islander Nate Thompson rounded out the Lightning scoring that sent the Islanders to their 11th consecutive loss, spoiling the debut of interim coach Jack Capuano.
In sticking to their plan, the Bolts special teams not only came to play, they came to work. The power-play unit netted two goals; the penalty-killing unit went 4-for-4 and over all the Lightning outshot the Islanders 40-36 scoring four goals for just the second time in their past nine games.
Steven Stamkos picked up his league leading 16th and 7th power-play goal with .2 seconds remaining in the first period and added an assist on Martin St. Louis 8th goal at 18:31 of the third. With his two points, Stamkos regained the goal scoring lead and point’s leader in the NHL and as well becoming the first player to reach 30 points on the season in just 18 games.
Martin St. Louis with his two points gave him 700 career points and Brett Clark along with a goal and an assist had six of the Bolts 21 block shots. St. Louis sealed the win with 1:29 remaining when his one-time circle-to-circle pass from Steve Downie blew past Roloson on the open right side of the net to put the Bolts up 3-1.
Nate Thompson a former Islander scored the Bolts final goal, his 2nd of the season into the empty net with seconds remaining in the game.
The Islanders who haven’t won since October 21st when they defeated the Bolts 3-2 in overtime at the St. Pete Times Forum got goals from Matt Moulson and John Tavares. Dwayne Roloson started over Rick DiPietro for the sixth consecutive game and made 36 saves in the loss. Roloson stopped 31 shots through two periods.
- The Lightning won for the first time since Vincent Lecavalier broke his right hand last Thursday at Washington.
- The Bolts scored only one goal in each of the previous two games and 13 in their 1-5-1 skid
- The Lightning has recorded 20 shots in a period twice this season
- The Lightning snapped a five-game road losing
- Steven Stamkos has 10 points during a six-game point streak, including six goals
From now until January 3rd, fans will have the opportunity to cast their votes to pick part of the 2011 NHL All-Star teams via on-line. Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louisand Vincent Lecavalierare on the NHL All-Star fan ballot. Click hereto send Stammer, Marty and Vinny to the All-Star Game.
For more info: Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, 2010 NHL All-Star Game
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