New York Islanders
(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The New York Islanders point-streak ends at seven games thanks to a soft power play in a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

  • New York Islanders 2 (8-5-2, 18 points)
  • Tampa Bay Lightning 4 (12-3-1, 25 points)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

A hapless powerplay doomed what was an otherwise solid game for the New York Islanders, dropping the first of two games in Florida, 4-2.

Josh Bailey managed to find the net twice for the Islanders, who watched their grasp on the contest slip away. It’s not often the Islanders outshoot their opponent, but so was the scenario as they ended the second period.

As the horn sounded to end period two, Anders Lee‘s stick was slashed by Ryan Callahan, giving the Islanders a 5-on-3 power play and a chance to not just tie the game, but jump to a quick lead.

It was at that point, in the first two minutes of the third period, that the Islanders gave away their chance to grab hold of the game.

Though the Isles maintained close to perfect zone control, all they mustered were passing plays to a group of talented forwards who lacked confidence. Andrei Vasilevsky was untested for most of the Isles powerplay but turned away 35 Islander shots overall.

The Islanders would head back to the power play minutes later and failed to gain any significant zone entry and it was clear the momentum was starting to swing in the opposite direction.

At that moment, Bailey’s second goal of the game was a relief for a desperate Islander team, though the hope was short-lived.

With just over a minute and a half left in the third period with the overtime creeping closer and closer, Ryan Pulock lost coverage of Tyler Johnson, who got loose deep in the crease put the dagger in the heart of an Islanders comeback and made it 3-2 Bolts.

Steven Stamkos put the nail in the coffin with the empty-net goal.

The worst part about the result of this one isn’t in the final score, but how it ultimately wound up there. The Islanders set themselves up to blow the game open with a 5-on-3 opportunity to begin the third period, and worse yet established lengthy zone time — all to lead up to a series of passing plays with maybe a single shot on goal to show for it.

Leading up to that moment, it was clear the Lightning were beating the Islanders in the details, something Barry Trotz specifically signaled out in the Isles post-game. Pulock’s inattentiveness let Johnson slip through and it ultimately ends up being the difference between one point (remember 2016-17?) and none.

At the very least, the Isles will have a day of practice before facing off against the Florida Panthers on Saturday. Before puck drop at 7 p.m., the Panthers plan to honor the life of the late Bill Torrey, who heavily impacted both organizations.

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.