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Islanders 2, Lightning 1 (SO)

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TAMPA, Fla. -- New York center Frans Nielsen scored the only goal in a shootout, and goaltender Kevin Poulin stopped all three shots he faced in the tiebreaker Thursday night, leading the Islanders to a 2-1 win over the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Tampa Bay (28-15-15) entered the game tied for first with Boston in the conference. The Islanders (18-23-8) remained last in the Metropolitan Division.

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop made 29 saves and Kevin Poulin finished with 30 stops for the Islanders.

The Islanders ended a sluggish second period for both teams with a late rush and a power play goal to tie the score 1-1.

Five seconds after Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman was whistled for high-sticking, center Thomas Vanek took a pass from Nielsen to beat Bishop. Nielson and center John Tavares, who won the faceoff against center Nate Thompson, received assists.

Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the first period against the league's worst power play.

Right winger Martin St. Louis, stationed to the right of the crease, popped in his 21st goal of the season into a virtually empty net as Poulin was slow to recover from a missed shot in front by center Valtteri Filppula.

Filppula had been unable to shoot a pass from the corner from center Tyler Johnson but redirected by accident onto St. Louis' stick. Filppula and Johnson were credited with assists.

New York outshot the Lightning 13-8 in the first period and nearly tied the score one minute earlier when right winger Colin McDonald hit the pipe with a shot and center Casey Cizikas almost poked in the rebound.

NOTES: Lightning C Steven Stamkos participated in a regular morning skate with the Lightning on Thursday wearing a red no-contact jersey. Stamkos has not played since breaking his right leg and having a titanium rod inserted after crashing into the net at Boston on Nov. 11. He remains hopeful of playing for the Lightning before the Olympic break and taking his place with Team Canada in Sochi, Russia. ... After Thursday, the Lightning played their last eight games in seven cities, five games in seven days and on back-to-back days twice. ... The Islanders entered the game worst in the NHL in penalty kill (75.3 percent) and allowed a goal on the first attempt. ... The Islanders won seven straight road games until losing at Florida on Tuesday. On Sunday, they became the sixth team in league history to win five straight road games in which they trailed. ... Lightning RW Martin St. Louis extended his points streak to six games.
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