Tampa Bay Lightning’s Woeful Road Trip Concludes in Defeat


Dec 20, 2014; Uniondale, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) makes a save against New York Islanders left wing Nikolay Kulemin (86) in front of Lightning defenseman

Jason Garrison

(5) during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s woeful road trip mercifully concluded Saturday night but not before falling 3-1 to the New York Islanders.

The loss means the Lightning (20-11-4) won just once on their five-game road trip (a 3-1 win in Philadelphia) and have now lost seven of their last 10 games.

The Bolts nearly stole two points as they held a 1-0 lead with less than 3:30 to play but after John Taveres tied the game from the slot with 3:09 left in regulation, Anders Lee redirected Travis Harmonic’s point shot to give the Islanders (23-10-0) the lead 12 seconds later.

Tampa Bay had taken a 1-0 lead at 9:16 of the third as Brett Connolly tipped in a Tyler Johnson shot for his sixth goal of the season. Mark Barberio had the second assist, his first point of the season.

Nikolai Kulemin added an empty-net goal to seal the win.

Lightning rookie goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made his second career start and routinely made big saves to keep his side in the game, despite a sloppy effort from the rest of his teammates. He wound up stopping 45 shots while Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves for New York.

Johnson returned to the line-up after missing Friday night’s loss to the Devils while J.T. Brown and Andrej Sustr were scratched. The Lightning lost defenceman Jason Garrison in the third period due to injury and he did not return.

The Lightning return home Tuesday to begin a three-game home stand when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.