Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Hockey

Lightning continue road trip at Islanders

The Tampa Bay Lightning will continue their longest road opening trek takes the Bolts to Long Island for a battle with the New York Islanders.

The Lightning are opening the year with five straight road dates and have so far put together a 1-1-1 record on the swing. The trip is set to end in Tampa's home state on Saturday, when the Bolts visit the Florida Panthers.

Tampa Bay, which made a surprise run to the Eastern Conference finals last spring, was 21-14-6 as the visiting team last season.

The Islanders, meanwhile, are kicking off 2011-12 on a four-game homestand at Nassau Coliseum. New York dropped the opener in a shutout loss to the Panthers, but rebounded with Monday's close victory over Minnesota. The final game of the residency is scheduled for Saturday against the rival New York Rangers.

The Isles were just 17-18-6 at the Coliseum during the 2010-11 campaign.

Since allowing just one goal in its season-opening 5-1 victory over Carolina, the Lightning have surrendered 10 scores over the next two games. Tampa was dealt a 4-1 loss in Boston on Saturday and Washington defeated the Bolts, 6-5, in a shootout decision on Monday. Both the Bruins and Capitals were playoff opponents of the Lightning last spring.

Matt Hendricks and Alexander Semin scored during the shootout phase to lift Washington to the wild 6-5 win.

Brett Clark, Teddy Purcell, Dominic Moore and Bruno Gervais each had a goal and an assist in regulation for Tampa Bay, which received 38 saves from Dwayne Roloson.

"Guys were fumbling pucks, turnovers when we usually don't," Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. "Weird pucks going in. It was basically a dogfight."

Roloson, who turned 42 years of age on Wednesday, is expected to get the start in net today against his former team. It will be his first game back on Long Island since he was traded to Tampa on New Year's Day. Roloson did face the Isles in Tampa on March 22 of last season and was torched for four goals on 27 shots in a 5-2 loss.

Roloson and the Lightning will not have defenseman Mattias Ohlund for quite some time, as the veteran Swede underwent arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees on Tuesday and is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks of action. Ohlund played in 90 games for Tampa last year between the regular season and playoffs.

The Islanders posted a 2-1 victory over the Wild on Monday afternoon, as Andrew MacDonald and Frans Nielsen each tallied a first-period goal to help New York to its first triumph of the season. Al Montoya also stopped 20-of-21 shots for New York.

"I was into the game even though they weren't shooting," Montoya said. "It felt good and the team did a great job."

The Islanders took three of four from Tampa Bay last season and have won four of five and seven of the last 12 encounters between the clubs. The Lightning have dropped two of three and six of their last eight at the Coliseum.