New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his go-ahead goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with center Ryan Strome (18) and center Brock Nelson (29) and defenseman Travis Hamonic (3) during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Islanders defeated the Lightning 3-1. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Down 1-0 in the waning minutes of the third period the Islanders rallied to score two goals in 12 seconds to come from behind to beat the Tampa Bay Lighting 3-1 at Nassau Coliseum. An empty net goal at 18:49 rounded out the score for the Isles.
John Tavares tied the game at one at 17:03 firing a shot from the slot that beat Lighting starter Andrei Vasilevskiy. Twelve seconds later a shot from the point by Travis Hamonic was redirected in front by Anders Lee to give the Isles the 2-1 lead.
"That was fun," Lee said after the win, grinning from ear-to-ear. "Great shot by Hammer and I was able to touch it enough to get it in. Obviously the comeback by the guys at the end of the game was awesome. Johnny getting us going and [Kulemin] finishing it off."
Nikolay Kulemin potted the empty net goal at 18:49.
The Islanders and Lightning played a scoreless contest through the first 50:44 of the game. It wasn't until the 9:16 mark that a team finally jumped on the board, and despite being heavily out-shot it was the Lightning's Brett Connolly who scored first.
New York outshot the visiting Lightning 29-20 and finished the game with a 48-21 shots advantage.
"Sometimes you run into hot goalies and we did tonight," Lee said about Vasilevskiy performance for Tampa Bay. "Even though we ended up getting three at the end, he played a great game. Sometimes you're going to run into guys like that."
Jaroslav Halak had a solid performance making 20 saves on 21 shots.
The Islanders did not show any frustration during the course of the game, according to Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano, despite outshooting the Lightning and falling behind in the third.
"You're going to face those surges both ways in the game," he said. "You're going to face a bit of adversity at different times, but you have to stay with it and you have to keep pushing. I thought we did a good job of that and we have the belief in that room that we're going to get that one in. It just so happened we got a couple more, which was good."
New York has now won their last four games and have been victorious in nine of their last 10 home games. The Isles also pulled out a four point weekend against two of the Eastern Conferences top teams.
"These are obviously great teams and you want to put as many points in the bank at this point in the season," Lee said. "We wanted to go into the couple day break the right way. We still have one more to go and that's what we're looking at."
Only two teams in the NHL have more points than the Islanders at the moment, Anaheim at 49 and Pittsburgh at 48.