Tavares scores late, Islanders top Lightning 3-2
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The New York Islanders had struggled to score on road power plays so far this season.
Not so much on Saturday night.
John Tavares scored a tiebreaking power-play goal in the third period, and the Islanders held on for a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tavares put the Islanders ahead during a goalmouth scramble with 3:36 left. New York scored twice on the power play after entering with just two on the road this season.
''I had faith in our power play,'' coach Jack Capuano said. ''We had a couple of good ones in the last nine periods of hockey we played, but we didn't have the results that we had (tonight). Fortunately, tonight we got the bounces that we needed.''
Josh Bailey and Cal Clutterbuck also scored for New York, which was coming off a 3-2 loss Friday night at Florida, a game that the Panthers won in a five-round shootout.
''A lot of things haven't been bouncing our way, but we've been really working for everything we've been getting,'' Tavares said. ''We're getting timely goals and certainly we seem to be getting better as the game goes on.''
Alex Killorn and Anton Stralman scored for the Lightning, who blew a two-goal lead. Steven Stamkos had two assists.
''Credit the Islanders, they hung in there,'' Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. A ''2-0 lead in our home and we found a way to cough it up.''
Tampa Bay has dropped two in a row after winning three straight. It has given up five power-play goals over the last two games.
''It's frustrating, that's for sure,'' Cooper said.
Killorn put in a rebound from the low slot at 16:20 of the first after a tip-in try by Stamkos.
Stralman made it 2-0 from near the post off a backhand pass from the slot by Stamkos 1:39 into the second.
Bailey cut the Islanders' deficit to 2-1 on a give-and-go with Brock Nelson during a power play at 3:51 of the second.
Thomas Greiss had a nifty poke check to stop Stamkos from getting the puck on net during a penalty shot with 9:34 to go in the second. The goalie also made a save 30 seconds later on Valtteri Filppula's breakaway shot.
''Obviously, when you get the penalty shot and the breakaway, he made big saves,'' Capuano said. ''It's a boost for your hockey club. The guys fed off it, and I thought the third period was one of our best periods.''
Greiss finished with 29 saves.
Clutterbuck tied it at 2 with 3:09 left in the second by poking the puck past Ben Bishop after Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn lost control of it in front of net.
Bishop stopped 19 shots.
NOTES: Tavares has eight goals and 21 points in 21 games against the Lightning. ... Tampa Bay C Tyler Johnson, who played just one shift in Friday's 4-2 loss at Washington before leaving with an undisclosed injury, didn't play. ... The Islanders activated D Thomas Hickey (lower body) from injured reserve. He had been out since Oct. 26. ... New York recalled G JF Berube from Bridgeport of the AHL and placed him on IR with a lower body injury. ... Tampa Bay recalled LW Mike Angelidis from Syracuse of the AHL.
This story corrects to Brock Nelson on the give-and-go with Bailey in the 14th paragraph instead of Brock Holt.