Victor Hedman scored the only goal in the shootout Friday night as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the host New York Islanders 1-0 at Nassau Coliseum.
The Lightning has alternated wins with losses in its last seven games. The Islanders have lost two straight but only four of their last 20 (15-3-2).
It was the Islanders’ first 1-0 game decided in overtime or shootout since a shootout win over Philadelphia on Nov. 24, 2014 and the Lightning’s first 1-0 game decided in overtime or shootout since an overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Mar. 6, 2017.
Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves in regulation and overtime.
Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss recorded 41 saves in regulation and overtime.
Hedman’s lone goal, scored on the Lightning’s first shot in the shootout, capped a spirited, defensively-minded battle of division leaders that served as an appetizer for a potential Eastern Conference finals matchup. Though there were just five penalties called, there were several on-ice skirmishes, including a mix-up in the Lightning’s crease at the end of the first period.
The teams combined for 72 scoreless shots in regulation. The Islanders had the best opportunities during the first two periods, including a pair of breakaway opportunities by Ryan Pulock that were turned away by Vasilevskiy in the opening 20 minutes. Vasilevskiy also stopped Valtteri Filppula at point-blank range midway through the second with a kick save that dislodged the goal from its moorings.
The Lightning’s best early chance came late in the second period, when Victor Hedman had a brief opening at a breakaway before Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy caught Hedman and wrapped him up deep in the New York zone.
Tampa Bay buzzed throughout the first half of the third period, during which it held a 14-5 shot advantage. The Islanders nearly scored with a little more than eight minutes left, when Jordan Eberle forced a turnover behind the Lightning net and was stuffed by Vasilevskiy, who also smothered a pair of putback attempts by Anders Lee.
Boychuk and Leddy then teamed up again to slow down Anthony Cirelli with a little less than three minutes to go. Pulock shoveled Brayden Point’s shot out of the crease in the final minute.
The Islanders outshot the Lightning 4-1 in the overtime but could not take advantage of a power play created when Nikita Kucherov was whistled for cross-checking Leddy with 1:37 left.