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New York Islanders

Instant Islanders: Takeaways From 4-2 Loss To Lightning



AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Elmont, NY– The New York Islanders couldn’t complete the comeback effort as they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 Saturday afternoon at UBS Arena for their fifth loss in their last six games.

Brock Nelson and Anders Lee scored a pair of third-period goals for the Islanders, with Mathew Barzal collecting the 300th assist of his career as he set up the score by Lee. In goal, Ilya Sorokin made saves 19 on 23 shots.

Tampa Bay had contributions from Nicholas Paul, Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Luke Glendening, while Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 32 of the 34 shots that came his way.

But that’s just the box score. Here are the key takeaways from the afternoon that was on Long Island.

Lifeless For Too Long:

When Nicholas Paul opened the scoring for the Lightning at 4:12 of the first period, the Islanders responded in kind as Bo Horvat appeared to score moments later.

However, the would-be tying goal was called back after a coach’s challenge by Tampa showed Anders Lee was offsides before the Islanders entered the attacking zone.

Shortly after, Nikita Kucherov made it 2-0 Tampa Bay with a shot from the point that changed direction on Ilya Sorokin in goal. For far too long after that, the Islanders played with a severe lack of urgency.

They were routinely beaten in races to the puck, and their passes were regularly off the mark.

It wasn’t until late in the third period that the Islanders had a charge in their step with goals from Lee and Nelson, but it was too late at that point.

Cizikas Returns:

Casey Cizikas returned to the Islanders lineup after a one-game hiatus and played 12:11 of time on ice.

There was concern that Cizikas may have been out long-term after he blocked a shot off his hand in the Islanders’ 5-4 overtime win in Pittsburgh this past Tuesday. He exited the game in the middle of the third period without returning and did not play in the following game on Thursday in St. Louis.

Prior to puck drop on Saturday, Islanders head coach Patrick Roy said Cizikas would take warmups and be a game-time decision.

Mayfield Out Of Lineup:

Scott Mayfield was left out of the Islanders lineup against Tampa Bay due to a lower-body injury, according to the team.

Mayfield played the entirety of the game on Thursday in St. Louis, skating a total of 15:24 of time on ice.

The defenseman has battled injuries throughout this season, missing a total of 16 games while serving different stints on the injured reserve list earlier this year.

In the first year of a seven-year contract, Mayfield has played 41 games and totaled five points.

Up Next:

With a record of 23-20-14, the Islanders head back out on the road as they pay a visit to the Dallas Stars on Monday before heading to Detroit to face the Red Wings in another game against a team they’re chasing in the wildcard race. The Islanders will return home on Saturday, March 2, to face the Boston Bruins.




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