Greiss Stars vs .500 Team

By on November 29, 2015

black Bolts

Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss was the number one star with a win plus 29 saves, and we learned the Lightning is a .500 NHL team.

Both Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan said after the game the Lightning is a .500 team. Ryan Callahan said, “We’re a .500 hockey club and we realize that, we put ourselves in this situation and we got to get ourselves out of it.”  Steven Stamkos also added, “We’re a .500 team, that’s not good enough in this league, of course we know where we are.  It’s not acceptable for this team, for this group.”

This was the first of three meetings this season for Islanders and the Lightning. Last season, the Islanders won all three games and out shot the Lightning 111-77. The largest margin the Bolts were out shot by any team last season.  It was different tonight with the Lightning having the shot advantage 31-22.

One of the first thing I noticed is the line changes for the Lightning. Stamkos, Filippula and Killorn are together. Kucherov, Namesnikitov and Marchessault are together. Tyler Johnson is a scratch for tonight, and Joel Vermin is in the lineup.

At 11:16 the Lightning go on the power play, the first penalty of the game committed by Islanders #55 Johnny Boychuk an interference minor.  The Lightning looked good on the power play, with two good shots on goal, but were unable to capitalize.

The Lightning are looking good offensively, good puck possession and fighting to get to it. At 16:20 the goal horn sounds Alex Killorn wrists one by #1 Thomas Greiss. The assist go to Captain Steven Stamkos, and defenseman Anton Stralman.  And so……the Bolts are on the board first.

Things are heating up as Ryan Callahan drops his gloves at center ice to challenge Islanders Ryan Okposo. They both receive matching penalties for fighting, and head to the locker rooms. Oh, I think Callahan got the leg up on that one.

Just 1:39 in,  the finesse of captain #91 Steven Stamkos pays off to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead. Filppula fed the puck to Stammer with a non-look, behind the back, Jon Stockton fashion pass, to #6 Anton Stralman who buried it.

The ether in the building did not last long as the Isle get a power play goal just two minutes and twelve seconds later by #12 Josh Bailey helpers form #29 Brock Nelson and #18 Ryan Strome.

At 4:15 a little more action with Lightning #55 Braydon Coburn and Islanders #17 5 minutes for fighting. This capacity crowd is loving it!

At 10:26 Steven Stamkos gets a breakout, and is stopped by Marek Zidlicky. A penalty shot awarded to the Captain, but #91 can’t get the shot off. Play continues, and it’s #51 Valterri Filppula with a breakaway but he’s stoned by netminder #1 Thomas Greiss! Wow, this first line of Stamkos, Filppula and Killorn is hot.

It’s electric at 401 Channelside Drive! Literally, I think we might see the tesla coils a few more times before this match up is over. At about the 15 minute mark of the second period this Stamkos, Fillpula, Killorn line is buzzing again. Cycling the puck around, and getting some great shots off!

This game is becoming quite chippy, oh no! It’s a goal for the Islanders, with a little too much help from the Bolts as #55 Brayden Coburn turns the puck over, #15 Cal Clutterbuck makes them pay with a slight backhand poke. The game is tied 2-2. 

At the close of the action packed second period, each team has been awarded 14 penalty minutes. Shot count Lightning 26, Islanders 13.

As expected the third period starts off with a bang, the Bolts go on the power play at at 2:47 with a hooking minor by Islanders #14 Thomas Hickey. The Islanders are able to keep the Lightning at bay.

Th Lightning are looking a little gassed. The crowd get’s behind their team chanting “Let’s Go Bolts!”

At 11:47 the Bolts again go on the power play thanks to a minor hooking penalty by NY Islander #21 Kyle Opkoso. The Islanders once again defend their zone, and the Lightning are 0 for 4 tonight on the power play! The crowd was treated to a little TNT by AC/DC.

Unfortunately at 15:31  the Islanders are awarded another power play, and #91 John Tavares notches his eleventh goal of the season at 16:24. Assist to #51 Frans Nielsen and #2 Nick Leddy. Islanders take the lead with their second power play goal of the night 3-2.

The Bolt’s are 0-4 tonight on the power play and Captain Steven Stamkos shares his frustration.

The chances that we had on the power play, the lack of execution. How many more wins we would have had this year if the power play can score a goal, it’s tough… It’s killing momentum, it’s not fun and It’s even more frustrating when you know that you have the skill set, and when it’s on you should be one of the best in the league. That’s the frustrating part. It’s borderline embarrassing.” 

The Bolts pull Bishop with a little less than 2 minutes left to go, but are unable to capitalize with the man advantage. The game ends and the Islanders get the road win at 3-2.

The Tampa Bay Lightning go on the road for their West Coast stint. They will face the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, December 2, at the Honda Center.

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