Barzal and Horvat lead Islanders past Lightning 6-2
Thu, Feb 8, 2024
NHL News (AP)
NEW YORK (AP) - Mathew Barzal and Bo Horvat each had a goal and an assist and the New York Islanders surged past the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 on Thursday night.
Noah Dobson, Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Pulock and Casey Cizikas also scored for the Islanders, who won their second in a row since coming out of the All-Star break. Ilya Sorokin finished with 16 saves and recorded his 16th win of the season.
Nikita Kucherov and Brandon Hagel scored for Tampa Bay, but the Lightning lost their second consecutive game. Jonas Johansson made 18 saves.
The Islanders scored three times in each of the first two periods and limited the Lightning to only 10 shots on net through the first 40 minutes.
Barzal gave New York a 2-1 lead when he skillfully controlled a loose puck off an offensive zone faceoff, then roofed a backhander past Johansson at 14:07 of the first period.
The Islanders extended their lead to two goals after Palmieri buried a pretty pass from Mike Reilly at 18:34.
Hagel deposited a rebound and pulled the Lightning to within one goal early in the second period.
But the Islanders responded with force, scoring three more times in the middle frame to take a commanding 6-2 lead.
Pulock blasted a slap shot and collected his third of the season at 7:10.
Horvat connected on a slap shot of his own at 8:18 that Johannson could have saved if not for a screen from Islanders captain Anders Lee.
Cizikas, in his first game back since being activated from injured reserve, capped the second-period scoring. The gritty forward slid a puck between the legs of Johansson at 15:22.
Dobson registered his seventh goal to open the scoring at 4:07 of the first period. The defenseman was looking for Oliver Wahlstrom on the back post, but the puck deflected off Lightning defenseman Eric Cernak's skate and into Tampa Bay's net.
Kucherov tied it at 1 with his team-leading 33rd goal at 6:42 of the first period.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper said before the game that D Mikhail Sergachev had surgery in New York on Thursday to stabilize fractures to both the tibia and fibula in his left leg. He will miss "significant time," Cooper said, after his leg bent at an awkward angle after an exchange of hits with Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniere on Wednesday.
Lightning: Visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
Islanders: Host the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
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