That WASN'T a playoff game?
Well, it certainly felt like one.
The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the New York Islanders 4-1 on Monday night in a hotly contested matchup at Amalie Arena.
Mathieu Joseph, Anthony Cirelli, Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos were the goal scorers for Tampa Bay & Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves.
The Islanders kicked off the scoring just 2:53 into the game, when Mat Barzal scored on a breakaway to make it 1-0, but the Lightning answered right back.
A Sebastian Aho clearing attempt was deflected by Alex Killorn & went right to Joseph in the high slot. The Lightning winger snapped a shot right over the glove of New York netminder Semyon Varlamov just 23 seconds after the Barzal goal to tie the score at one.
The play was pretty even for the rest of the period until an Anders Lee hooking call put Tampa Bay on the power play with 2:44 left in the 1st.
The Lightning were unable to cash in on the man-advantage, but Cirelli scored six seconds after the penalty expired to put the Bolts up 2-1.
There weren't any goals in the 2nd period, but that doesn't mean the middle frame was devoid of action.
The Lightning were able to kill off three separate minor penalties, Cirelli & Brock Nelson dropped the gloves and fought (more on that BELOW), and there were multiple dustups after stoppages in play to give this contest in November a postseason-type feel.
Point scored at the 13:28 of the 3rd to extend the Lightning lead & Stamkos scored on the power play at 15:30 to seal the deal for Tampa Bay.
Varlamov made 24 saves for the Islanders in defeat.
MONDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!! : Just four seconds into the game, Patrick Maroon & Zdeno Chara dropped the gloves for what seems like the 400th time, to bring the fans at Amalie to their feet & energize both benches. Then in the second period, Anthony Cirelli & Brock Nelson threw down after Nelson put a dangerous hit on Alex Killorn behind the Islanders net. Nelson originally was given a five-minute major for the hit, but it was reduced to a two-minute minor for charging after a short replay to go with his five-minute major for fighting. Cirelli was given a two-minute minor for instigating, a five for fighting & a ten-minute misconduct that carried over to the 3rd period. Late in the third, Chara & Boris Katchouk got into a scuffle that led to the Bolts rookie taking down the Islanders vet that made all of the wrestling coaches in the Tampa Bay area very happy.
- New York - Barzal - (Parise) - 2:53
- Tampa Bay - Joseph - (Killorn) - 3:16
- Tampa Bay - Cirelli - (Palat, Hedman) - 19:22
- Tampa Bay - Point - (Unassisted) - 13:28
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Stamkos - (Hedman, Point) - 15:30
- New York - MAJOR - Chara - (Fighting) - 0:04
- Tampa Bay - MAJOR - Maroon - (Fighting) - 0:04
- New York - Lee - (Hooking) - 17:16
- Tampa Bay - Perry - (Tripping) - 0:19
- Tampa Bay - Bogosian - (Holding) - 12:11
- New York - Nelson - (Charging) - 12:56
- New York - MAJOR - Nelson - (Fighting) - 12:56
- Tampa Bay - Cirelli - (Instigator) - 12:56
- Tampa Bay - MAJOR - Cirelli - (Fighting) - 12:56
- Tampa Bay - Cirelli - (10-Minute Misconduct) - 12:56
- Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Tripping) - 14:30
- New York - Martin - (Interference) - 10:39
- New York - Chara - (High Sticking) - 14:39
- New York - Chara - (10-Minute Misconduct) - 14:39
- Tampa Bay - Katchouk - (10-Minute Misconduct) - 14:39
- New York - Parise - (Slashing) - 15:57
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Thursday night as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. Puck drop is slated for 7:00pm with the pregame show starting at 6:30pm on Lightning PowerPlay & NewsRadio WFLA.
PHOTO : Getty Images