The New York Islanders try to rebound from what first-year coach Barry Trotz called their "worst game of the year" when they begin a quick trip to the Sunshine State against the Eastern Conference-best Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. The Islanders, who also visit Florida on Saturday, coughed up a two-goal lead before losing 4-3 in a shootout to Montreal on Monday but extended their point streak to seven (5-0-2).

"We didn't do the things we should do. It happens," New York right wing Leo Komarov told Newsday. "A good team has to lose some nights also and we've been playing good so far. A point is important but I think we had a good chance to get two. ... We just need to be ready next game." The Islanders have dropped five of the last six in the regular season against the Lightning, who rolled over Edmonton 5-2 for their third straight win Tuesday and sixth in eight contests at home in 2018-19. Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy earned his eighth win of the campaign with 33 saves and captain Steven Stamkos told reporters, "(Vasilevskiy) is undoubtedly the reason why we win a lot of hockey games. He was outstanding again (Tuesday)." Center Brayden Point leads Lightning with nine goals, 19 points and a plus-12 rating after registering 10 points in the past five contests.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, MSG Plus (New York), FS Sun (Tampa Bay) 

ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (8-4-2): Forward Josh Bailey saw his eight-game point streak come to an end Monday, but leads the team with 15 - two better than captain Anders Lee and three more than Calder Trophy winner Mathew Barzal. Goalie Thomas Greiss allowed five goals on 101 shots over the last three games and owns the same record (4-2-1) as Robin Lehner, who last played on Oct. 30. Jordan Eberle (four goals, three assists) did not practice Wednesday, but Trotz told reporters he is expected to be in the lineup against Tampa Bay, and fellow forward Matt Martin (upper body) did not make the trip.



ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (11-3-1): Stamkos and right wing Nikita Kucherov accounted for three goals in Tuesday's victory and the two All-Stars have recorded eight points apiece in the last five games after relatively slow starts. "The last couple of games we've got back to playing with the puck," Stamkos told reporters of playing with Kucherov. "We try to create room for each other out there. Obviously we've developed that chemistry. It was nice to have a couple nice plays and contribute to a win." Forward Yanni Gourde (16 points) has scored in three straight games since signing a six-year contract extension.

OVERTIME

1. Tampa Bay D Victor Hedman (upper body) will likely miss his seventh straight game, but coach Jon Cooper told reporters the reigning Norris Trophy winner could return soon.

2. New York C Casey Cizikas scored twice Monday after managing two points (both assists) over the previous seven games.

3. The Lightning gave up three power-play goals in the last two games after allowing three total in the first 13 contests.

PREDICTION: Lightning 5, Islanders 2  Bet Now

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