Shipped to playoff-bound Tampa in a trade January 1, goaltender Dwayne Roloson may have gotten the better end of the New Year's Day deal. But his former Islander teammates got the best of him last night with a 5-2 win over the sputtering Lightning.
Roloson gave up four goals--the last was an empty-netter--as the Islanders strung together their second straight win.
Trailing 1-0 only 1:01 into play, the Islanders rattled off three straight goals over the first two periods and shut the door on the 5th place Bolts with two shorthanded goals in the third period.
"It feels great right now," said Al Montoya, who made 36 saves. "Our goal this weekend was to come in here and get wins. Give it to our team. I didn't like that first goal went in--it was a tough break--but they fought for me, they battled, they didn't let them knock them down. That just motivated me to play harder."
Former Islander Nate Thompson scored his ninth goal of the season to give Tampa a 1-0 lead 1:01 into the game but Josh Bailey tallied on the power play to tie the game at 1 later in the first.
Defenseman Milan Jurcina picked up his second assist of the night on Kyle Okposo’s re-direction at 5:16 of the second and Matt Martin showed some skill with a deft backhander that beat Roloson at 13:39.
Giving the Isles a 3-goal lead, Frans Nielsen scored his league-leading sixth shorthanded goal of the season in the third-- one shy of the club record set 30 years ago. Michael Grabner also scored shorthanded in the third, an empty-netter with less than a minute remaining. Grabner now has 31 goals on the season.
"I liked what we did," Nielsen said. "We stayed aggressive on them. It was very bad ice out there. We knew the puck would be bouncing on them and we'd have a chance to go on the PK. The PK came up big for us."
After the game, Lightning head coach decried the team's "total lack of structure."
The Lightning have now dropped five of their last six games. When asked if he's looking for someone to give the team a spark, he responded:
"No. I'm looking for everyone to give the team a spark."