Coming off an opening night loss to the New Jersey Devils, the New York Islanders rebounded nicely on Martin Luther King Day (1/21) and notched their first win of the season.
Kyle Okposo, who has been somewhat of a slow starter in past seasons, netted his first goal of the season in the 4-3 win.
The two points avoided a calamitous 0-2 start for the Isles, who nearly frittered the victory away in a six minute stretch in the third period. Up 4-0, with me already tweeting that the win was in the bag, so to speak, Tampa Bay roared back with goals from Martin St. Louis, Benoit Pouliot, and Steven Stamkos.
The Isles rode out a final ten minutes and wrapped up the win after the Lightning took two penalties in the final minutes.
Over 15,000 attended the Monday matinee, and Head Coach Jack Capuano was in attendance as well after missing the opener with a medical issue (kidney stones).
Though he couldn't have liked what he saw in the third period from his team, his side played well and at time dominated a more talented Tampa Bay squad.
Travis Hamonic played well and is rounding into form on defense, and Evegeni Nabokov has been solid in both of his starts. He stopped 23 of 26 shots for the win.
It's too early to indicate any trends yet; we need to see a few more games to identify some of the issues that will surround this version of the Islanders. They'll get tested this week, as they play five straight games on the road, beginning Thursday (1/24) in Toronto.
This shortened season is going to fly by. As of right now, I'm cautiously optimistic.