February 9, 2020 / 2:53 AM / 19 days ago

Lightning defeat Islanders, run winning streak to 6

Brayden Point broke a scoreless tie in the opening seconds of the second period Saturday night for the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning, who never trailed in a 3-1 victory over the visiting New York Islanders.

Feb 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) passes the puck against the New York Islanders during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Carter Verhaeghe and Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning, who have won six straight and are 18-2-1 since the roll began Dec. 23. Tampa Bay hasn’t trailed in any of its last five victories.

Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 17 saves as the Lightning earned a point in his 17th consecutive start, extending his own team record.

Derick Brassard scored in the third period for the Islanders, who had their two-game winning streak and five-game point streak snapped. Goalie Semyon Varlamov recorded 27 saves.

The Islanders seemingly took the lead in the final minute of the first period, but Mathew Barzal’s goal with 37.8 seconds left was overturned because New York was offside.

The Lightning needed just 14 seconds to take the lead in the second.

A shot by Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock sailed wide right of the net and bounced to Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov. The right winger whirled and sent the puck toward center ice, where Point corraled it in stride and raced toward the net with Pulock in pursuit. Point, still in a full sprint, fired a slap shot that sailed over Varlamov’s glove.

The Lightning doubled the lead 6:25 into the third, when Verhaeghe collected the rebound of Yanni Gourde’s shot along the right boards, dashed into the open crease and backhanded a shot past Varlamov.

Kucherov was whistled for holding to set up the power play that led to the Islanders’ lone goal shortly beyond the midway point of the third. Josh Bailey passed into the crease to Brassard, who had his stick on the ice and shoveled the puck into the net at the 12:12 mark.

The Islanders pulled Varlamov with a little more than two minutes left, but the Lightning iced the game when Stamkos flicked a shot from the blue line into the empty net with 1:02 remaining.

—Field Level Media

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