(SportsNetwork.com) – The New York Islanders have had to wait a few days for a
chance at revenge against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the payoff was some
well-earned rest for the club.
After having their longest winning streak since 2008 snapped last time out,
the Islanders face the Lightning for the second time in four days on Tuesday
New York carried a five-game winning streak to Tampa on Saturday, but was
bested 5-2 by the Lightning. The clubs combined for five goals in the first
period, with Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey lighting the lamp for the Islanders.
Backup goaltender Chad Johnson, though, yielded all five goals on 28 shots as
New York’s longest winning streak since taking six in a row from Feb. 12-21,
2008 was halted.
“We’ll have to regroup and just try to do better,” said Johnson.
Jaroslav Halak is likely to get the start tonight for the Islanders and is
2-2-0 in his career versus the Bolts with a 2.80 goals against average and
.891 save percentage in four games.
Tampa Bay had lost back-to-back games before topping New York, getting 25
saves from Ben Bishop and goals from five different skaters. That included one
from Ryan Callahan, who followed up that performance with a solid effort
against his former New York Rangers club on Monday night.
Playing the Rangers for the first time since getting dealt to the Bolts on
March 5 along with draft picks for Martin St. Louis, Callahan scored twice to
lead the Lightning to a 5-1 win.
“It’s tough coming back here and there was a range of emotions,” said
Callahan. “I was captain of this team for 2 1/2 years and played here for
eight. The Rangers are a class organization.”
Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov also scored and Steven Stamkos stayed hot
with a goal and two assists as the Lightning improved to 8-1-1 in their past
Stamkos has nine points over a six-game point streak and is tied for the NHL
lead with 12 goals. He also is tied for third in the league with 22 points.
Bishop made 15 saves in last night’s win and could get a rest on Tuesday in
favor of backup Evgeni Nabokov.
Nabokov spent his previous three seasons playing for the Islanders and is
7-2-0 lifetime against his former club with a 2.37 GAA, .921 save percentage
and two shutouts in 10 games.
Though the Lightning have won three of their past four versus the Islanders
overall, they have dropped six of their last eight on Long Island.