Gourde keys Lightning surge in 6-2 win over Islanders
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) When the Tampa Bay Lightning needed to regain the momentum, Yanni Gourde took over.
Gourde scored two of Tampa Bay’s three goals late in the second period and the Lightning beat the New York Islanders 6-2 on Tuesday night.
After the Islanders dominated the first 16 minutes of the second, Gourde had a power-play rebound goal at 16:22 and then gave Tampa Bay a 4-2 lead 1:34 later on another rebound effort.
”They came out really strong and I think we came out flat,” Gourde said. ”We score on the power play and momentum turned back around for us. I think that was a key moment.”
The Lightning’s top-ranked power play extended the advantage to three when Vladislav Namestnikov scored 50 seconds after Gourde’s second of the game.
Tampa Bay also got goals from Brayden Point, Andrej Sustr and Chris Kunitz, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves. The Atlantic Division leaders are 11-2-1 at home.
Vasilevskiy has allowed two or fewer goals in 15 of 23 starts.
”He’s there to hold us in when we need it,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.
Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle scored for the Islanders, who had won eight of 10. Thomas Greiss stopped 28 shots.
”We weren’t very good for a majority of the game,” said star center John Tavares, who had an assist. ”We just didn’t do very good things with the puck.”
Point opened the scoring 34 seconds into the game from low in the left circle and Sustr made it 2-0 from the blue line late in the first.
Both of Sustr’s goals this season have come in the past three games, and the defenseman has 10 in 288 career NHL games.
The Islanders went 11 minutes without a shot to start the first and were outshot 11-2 overall in the period.
There was a complete switch starting the second as the Islanders got the period’s first nine shots, including Barzal’s backhand power-play goal at 7:07. Eberle tied it 2-all just 1:51 later.
”We had the whole ice tilted and had taken the game over,” Islanders coach Doug Weight said. ”Two penalties late and it’s 5-2. It’s disappointing but we have to march on.”
Kunitz had a third-period goal.
The Lightning reached 40 points in a franchise-fastest 27 games. The old mark was 30 games in 2014-15.
NOTES: Gourde has scored four of his eight goals against the Islanders. … The Islanders are 10-0-0 when scoring first and 6-9-2 when the opponent gets the initial goal. … Lightning D Braydon Coburn (knee-to-knee hit) sat out his second straight game and has not resumed practicing with the team. … New York D Scott Mayfield, scratched the previous two games, had both Islanders shots in the first and hit the post in the second.
Islanders: Play at Pittsburgh on Thursday night in their third stop on a four-game trip.
Lightning: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night in the third of four consecutive home games.
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