TAMPA -- For the second time in 10 days the Tampa Bay Lightning dominated the New York Islanders, jumping out to an early lead and cruising to a 4-1 win behind their power play on Thursday night at Amalie Arena.
Backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves for the Lightning (8-5-1) which got two power-play goals on the way to an early 3-0 lead. The Islanders (5-7-2) had to switch goalies after three goals as they did Nov. 1 in a 6-1 Lightning win in the teams' first meeting.
Center Brian Boyle added to the Lightning lead 68 seconds into the third period with his fourth goal of the season after Cedric Paquette intercepted an Islanders clearing attempt and fed him for the goal.
The Lightning were able to force six power plays against the Islanders who had only one.
Tampa Bay stays home to face the San Jose Sharks on Saturday and the Islanders stay in Florida to face the Panthers on Saturday before playing host to the Lightning for a third game in 14 days on Tuesday.
The Lightning who have struggled with rough starts had no such issues Thursday jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first 23 minutes fueled by strong special-teams plays. In two games against the Islanders the Lightning have five first-period goals. In their other 12 games combined they have four.
After getting no shots in the first six minutes Tampa Bay drew a power play with 13:22 left on an elbowing penalty against John Tavares and converted on Steven Stamkos' eighth goal of the season for a 1-0 lead with 11:57 left.
The Lightning added an even-strength goal with 8:33 left on Nikita Kucherov's fifth goal of the season for a 2-0 lead.
Tampa Bay had five power plays in the first two periods and converted another early in the second as Tyler Johnson fired a shot past Jaroslav Halak for his fifth goal of the season.
The Islanders pulled Halak after the goal turning to Thomas Greiss -- they made the opposite switch after three early goals when the teams played nine days ago on the way to a 6-1 Lightning win.
The Islanders got on the scoreboard with 11:56 left in the second period when Andrew Ladd got his second goal of the season -- and second in as many games -- against Vasilevskiy.
NOTES: The Lightning were without LW Jonathan Drouin (upper-body injury) for a fourth straight game. He has skated with the team but hasn't played since taking a hit to the head on Nov. 1. Nikita Nesterov was a healthy scratch as the team's seventh defenseman. ... The Islanders' only scratches were LW Anthony Beauvillier and G Jean-Francois Berube. ... Both teams went with the opposite goalie from the one that started in the teams' first meeting last week with the Lightning starting backup Andrei Vasilevskiy to give starter Ben Bishop a night off and the Islanders going with Jaroslav Halak who came in for relief of Thomas Greiss in a 6-1 loss to Tampa Bay on the Islanders' home ice.
(© 2016 WTSP)