Islanders 2, Lightning 0

The New York Islanders turned a strong performance into an

impressive road win.

Evgeni Nabokov made 18 saves for second shutout this season and

54th overall in the NHL, John Tavares scored his 17th goal, and the

Islanders beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 on Thursday night.

”I think we played a good simple road game,” New York

defenseman Andrew MacDonald said. ”Our special teams are good.

Guys are getting in lanes to block shots, and it certainly made the


Nabokov made an in-close save on Victor Hedman in the second

period, and Tavares had a power-play goal midway through the frame

to help the Islanders improve to 4-1-2 over their last seven


”They’re going to get chances, but the key is always what kind

of chances they’re going to get, and where are they going to get

them, and how much time are they going to get,” Nabokov said. ”I

thought we did a very good job on the big guys. This was a team

effort in the zone.”

Brad Boyes added an empty-net goal in the final minute of


Anders Lindback stopped 27 shots for Tampa Bay, which has lost

eight of 10.

”It’s just a weird thing,” Lightning coach Guy Boucher said.

”We’re scoring tons of goals and we’re not defending well. All of

a sudden now we’re defending well and we’re not scoring goals. It’s

flip-flop, flip-flop. It’s hard to take. The story of our year, we

can’t get everything together on the same day.”

Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier didn’t play and is out

indefinitely because of an undisclosed lower body injury.

Lecavalier, who was hurt Tuesday night against Florida, was placed

on the injured list before Thursday’s game.

New York was without speedy forward Michael Grabner, who was put

on the injured list Wednesday because of a shoulder injury

sustained Sunday in a game at Pittsburgh.

Tavares put the Islanders up 1-0 when he put an in-close

backhander past Lindback during a power play at 10:22 of the

second. Matt Moulson set up the goal with a backhanded pass from

the low slot to Tavares, who was positioned near the post.

”He had his back to me and made a great pass and drew a couple

of guys,” Tavares said. ”He probably could have put it in

himself, but really made it easy. I just had a tap in.”

New York, which entered with the NHL’s best road power play, had

just the one advantage in the game. Tampa Bay failed to convert on

its two chances.

”Especially this time of the year, the special teams are going

to play a big part,” Lightning left wing Ryan Malone said. ”Their

team got the goal and our team didn’t.”

Islanders left wing David Ullstrom left in the third period

because of a lower body injury.

NOTES: Former Tampa Bay forward John Cullen, who won the

Masterton Trophy in 1999 after returning to play after being

diagnosed with cancer, dropped the ceremonial first puck. …

Tavares has scored eight power-play goals. … Tampa Bay C Steven

Stamkos had his three-game goal streak end. … Islanders D Colin

McDonald (illness) didn’t play. … The Lightning recalled forward

Tyler Johnson from Syracuse of the AHL to take Lecavalier’s roster

spot. Johnson made his NHL debut.