Tyler Johnson scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:26 left in the third period Thursday night as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the visiting New York Islanders 4-2.
Mathieu Joseph and J.T. Miller scored in the second period and Steven Stamkos added an empty-netter with 9.9 seconds remaining for the Lightning, who have won four straight and lead the NHL in points. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves.
Josh Bailey scored both goals for the Islanders, who have lost two straight and had their point streak snapped at seven games. Goalie Robin Lehner recorded 23 saves.
The teams appeared headed for overtime before an untimely turnover by Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock deep in the Tampa Bay zone. The Lightning’s Yanni Gourde picked off Pulock’s pass and dished to Nikita Kucherov, who passed to Gourde near the top of the left faceoff circle. With Lehner committed to a possible shot by Gourde, the center instead passed to Johnson, who was stationed next to the goal and tucked the puck into the empty right corner of the net.
The Islanders almost immediately pulled Lehner but could not tie the score before Stamkos iced the game.
Bailey won a battle with Gourde and Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman to put the Islanders ahead 3:40 into the first. The three players were fighting for the puck and Bailey nearly fell before he righted himself, regained the puck, whirled and fired a shot past Vasilevskiy.
Joseph and Miller scored less than six minutes apart to give the Lightning the lead in the second. Joseph corralled a loose puck near center ice, raced up the right side and fired a shot through Scott Mayfield and under Lehner’s glove hand to tie the game at the 5:58 mark.
Miller put Tampa Bay ahead by beating Lehner from just inside the left faceoff circle with 8:48 remaining in the middle period.
Bailey tied the score 8:43 into the third. Adam Pelech skated around the back of the net and passed to Bailey, who went to one knee and fired a shot between Stralman and Johnson as they tried to converge upon him.
—Field Level Media