With the sun just about set on their playoff hopes, the Tampa Bay Lightning close out a seven-game homestand this evening against the New York Islanders.
The Lightning sit nine points back of a playoff spot with nine games to play and snapped a three-game slide with Thursday's 3-2 shootout victory versus the Edmonton Oilers. The win improved the Lightning to 2-4 on their homestand.
Tom Pyatt notched his first career two-goal game and Teddy Purcell had the winner in the sixth round of the shootout. Dwayne Roloson made 34 saves to earn his first victory since Feb. 16.
"He kept us in the game tonight with those huge saves," said Pyatt about Roloson. "This win tonight is all because of him, it was just nice to help the team out."
Tampa Bay improved to 22-14-2 at home this season.
The Islanders are two points further back of the Lightning with nine games to play and are looking to win three in a row for the first time since Jan. 17-21. New York's consecutive victories follow a five-game slide, with the club taking the first two of a five-game road trip.
New York snapped its skid with a shootout win at Montreal last Saturday, then posted a 5-2 victory at Toronto on Tuesday. Matt Moulson scored twice in the third period, while P.A. Parenteau added a goal and two assists.
"Our gameplan was to come out and work," said Moulson, who has a career-high 32 goals on the season. "We knew they had been traveling a lot lately and obviously played last night. We wanted to take advantage of that because we had a couple of days off and were fresh."
Josh Bailey and David Ullstrom also scored and John Tavares recorded three assists. Mark Streit notched two assists to extend his five-game point streak (1 goal, 6 assists) and Evgeni Nabokov needed to make only 12 saves.
Nabokov was rewarded the following day with a one-year contract.
"I'm thrilled to commit to this team for next season," Nabokov said. "We have a great group in the locker room of young, talented players and we're heading in the right direction. I'm excited to have the chance to help get this team back to the playoffs."
Though the Islanders have won six of their past eight versus the Lightning, they have dropped four of their past six at Tampa Bay.