Islanders score 4 times in 2nd period to down Lightning 6-1

ELMONT, NEW YORK - APRIL 06: Mikhail Sergachev #98 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ryan Pulock #6 of the New York Islanders battle along the boards during the second period at UBS Arena on April 06, 2023 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI

Adam Pelech, Brock Nelson, Kyle Palmieri and Ryan Pulock all scored second-period goals, Ilya Sorokin made 29 saves and the New York Islanders kept pace in the Eastern Conference wild-card race with a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

Simon Holmstrom and Bo Horvat also scored for the Islanders, who had lost their previous two games and three of their last five before emerging with two key points in a battle with Florida and Pittsburgh for the two wild-card spots.

All three teams won Thursday night. The Panthers and Islanders are tied with 89 points, with the Penguins just one point behind. Each has three games remaining.

Kucherov ruined Sorokin’s shutout bid at 16:47 of the second with his 30th goal. It's the sixth time in nine seasons Kucherov has reached the 30-goal mark.

Pelech scored at 3:46 of the middle period after a scoreless first during which the Islanders outshot the Lightning 13-3. Pelech’s shot eluded a cluster of traffic in front of Brian Elliott for the defenseman’s sixth goal of the season.

Nelson made it 2-0 with his 33rd goal at 9:54 before Palmieri scored 49 seconds later to give the Islanders a three-goal cushion.

Pulock increased the lead to 4-1 with his fifth goal with 20 second left in the second.

Holmstrom added his sixth at 15:14 of the third. Bo Horvat closed out the scoring in the final minute.

Lightning forward Tanner Jeannot left midway through the second and didn’t return after he fell awkwardly and twisted his lower right leg while tangled with Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield.

Tampa Bay, which clinched a postseason spot earlier this week for the sixth straight season, will face Toronto in the opening round of the playoffs. The Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2020 and 2021 after eliminating the Islanders in the Eastern Conference finals. They reached the Stanley Cup Finals last season, when they lost to Colorado in six games.


Lightning captain Steven Stamkos played his 1,000th game, becoming the second skater in Tampa Bay history to play 1,000 games with the club, joining Vincent Lecavelier. Stamkos was the first overall pick by the Lightning in 2008.

The two-time Stanley Cup winner has 514 goals and 1,052 points in 15 seasons with Tampa Bay, including a career-high 60 goals in 2011-12.


Zach Parise played his 160th consecutive game with the Islanders. The 38-year-old forward has played in every game since joining the team in October 2021. Parise has 21 goals and 33 points overall this season, his 18th in the NHL.

NOTES: The Islanders were without injured forward Mathew Barzal for the 20th straight game. ... The Islanders also scratched forwards Josh Bailey and Ross Johnston, plus defensemen Alexander Romanov and Parker Wotherspoon. ... The Lightning scratched forwards Brandon Hagel and Anthony Cirelli, plus defenseman Erik Cernak. ... Tampa Bay won both previous meetings this season at home, 5-3 on Oct. 22 and 5-0 last Saturday.


Lightning: Visit the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Islanders: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.