Lightning 3, Islanders 2 (SO)

Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Center Valtteri Filppula scored two goals in the final 2:53 of regulation Tuesday night before scoring in the shootout as the Tampa Bay Lightning completed a stunning comeback and beat the New York Islanders, 3-2, at Nassau Coliseum.
Right winger Nikita Kucherov also scored in the shootout for the Lightning, which clinched the win when goalie Ben Bishop stopped John Tavares on the Islanders' third shot of the shootout.
Bishop made 33 saves in regulation for the Lightning (20-11-3), which have won three out of four.
Goalie Evgeni Nabokov made 34 saves in regulation for the Islanders (9-19-7), who squandered a two-goal lead in a loss for the fifth time this year. The Islanders have lost 13 of their last 14 (1-9-4).
Right winger Kyle Okposo and center Frans Nielsen scored for the Islanders, who appeared headed for their first regulation win since Nov. 12 after Nielsen's goal with 9:39 left extended the Islanders' lead to 2-0.
But Filppula scored with 2:53 to play and sent the game to overtime with 3.8 seconds left, when he poked a loose puck past Nabokov during a furious scrum that involved every player on the ice.
The Lightning carried that momentum into the overtime, when they controlled the puck in the Islanders zone for most of the five minutes. The Islanders had a couple serious chances in the final 30 seconds, when Bishop turned back a shot by right winger Cal Clutterbuck and stopped left winger Thomas Vanek at point-blank range.
The Lightning outshot the Islanders 13-12 during a scoreless first period, but New York had the better scoring chances. Struggling center Josh Bailey, who has not scored in his last 24 games, missed a pair of one-on-one opportunities, including one in which he fired high and to the right of Bishop.
Later in the period, Tavares nearly scored a spectacular goal from a sitting position. Tavares, who fell as he was pursued by Lightning center Tyler Johnson, turned around while seated and tried sticking the puck past Bishop.
The Islanders ended the period on the power play when defenseman Radko Gudas was penalized for interference in the final minute. A Tavares pass from behind the net landed right on the stick of Vanek, but Vanek couldn't get a shot off before the buzzer sounded.
The Islanders wasted no time taking advantage of the power play once the second began, though, when Okposo fired a slapshot past Bishop 11 seconds into the period. It was the Islanders' first goal in 108 minutes and 57 seconds.
New York had several chances to extend the lead later in the period, but Nielsen missed a chance to put back a rebound, and Tavares' put back of a shot that ticked the stick of Vanek glanced off Bishop's skate.
The Lightning regained the momentum in the final minutes of the second but couldn't tie the game as a slap shot from Filppula sailed just high and shots from right wingers Kucherov and Martin St. Louis bounced off Nabokov and were smothered by the Islanders' goalie, respectively.
Vanek almost doubled the lead 1:05 into the third, but the whistle blew before he jabbed the puck past Bishop during a scrum in the goal mouth.
Nabokov kept the shutout alive when he made a series of stops on Gudas and Johnson during a flurry at the midway point of the third.
Seconds later, the Islanders finally added to the lead when right winger Michael Grabner picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and dished a perfect pass in stride to Nielsen, who fired a shot past Bishop with 9:39 left.
The Islanders survived a scare 61 seconds later, when Gudas took down Tavares and crashed him into the boards after Bishop stopped a Tavares shot. Tavares remained on the ice for about a minute but skated off under his own power.
NOTES: The Lightning's lone visit of the season to Long Island was a homecoming for Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper, who graduated from Hofstra University, located across the street from Nassau Coliseum. Cooper played three years of Division I lacrosse and one year on Hofstra's club hockey team. He spent the Lightning's off day Monday visiting the campus. ... The Islanders scratched D Matt Carkner, C Casey Cizikas and RW Colin McDonald. Cizikas missed his second consecutive game due to a jaw injury, while Carkner and McDonald were healthy scratches. ... Islanders D Lubomir Visnovsky, out since suffering a concussion on Oct. 19, told Newsday he is feeling better and may be ready to begin off-ice work soon. ... The Lightning scratched D Victor Hedman, LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie and C Dana Tyrell. Hedman missed his sixth straight game with an upper-body injury, but he may be ready to return Thursday, when Tampa Bay hosts the Nashville Predators. Labrie and Tyrell were healthy scratches. ... The Islanders play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Friday.

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