Lightning sloppy, fall to Islanders in controversial overtime finish

There was no scoring in the third, even though the Lightning got a power play when former Tampa Bay forward Zenon Konopka went off for boarding Ryan Malone; the Lightning were unable to convert, going 0-4 on the power play on the night. In what was just the beginning for the officiating crew of Rob Martell and Brad Meier, Pavel Kubina was sent off at 19:52 of the third on a tripping call; replays clearly showed Kubina got his stick on the puck first.

The Lightning were able to kill off that penalty into overtime, but as the Islanders were scrambling around the net, Matt Moulson directed a puck at Ellis that he appeared to fight off. The play continued down to the other end until the next whistle and a video review was called for out of the war room in Toronto. Replays looked inconclusive, but, after a delay that lasted close to 10 minutes, the NHL apparently found the conclusive evidence needed to award the Islanders the goal and OT win.

“To be honest, I don’t care about the replay," said Lightning head coach Guy Boucher. "We didn’t come out in the first period and that’s all I’m worried about. We didn’t come out, we didn’t skate, we weren’t first on the puck. We didn’t battle. Half our bench wasn’t there. It’s unacceptable. I need to meet with some individuals, so that’s going to be done before tomorrow’s game for sure.”

Ellis is not quite sure how the NHL came to the conclusion that it did.

"I don’t know how they saw it cleanly," he said. "When it takes that long, you would think it would go the other direction, but obviously they saw something that we haven’t yet. If it takes that long, it’s hard to believe that it’s a sure thing. But you would hope they look at it from every possible angle. We haven’t really seen it. We saw it on the Jumbotron a little bit. From my vantage point, it did not look in, but maybe they freeze-framed a few different ones at the same time and saw it inside my glove. I have no idea."

The Lightning don't have much time to recover from this, as they are right back at it Friday night in Atlanta against the Thrashers in a crucial divisional game.  After a chat or two with the coach, of course.

The Tampa Bay Lightning took to the ice Thursday night at the St. Pete Times forum to take on the New York Islanders; before the night was over, they would take on three opponents: the opposing team, on-ice officials and the honchos at hockey operations in Toronto.  In what was a sloppy contest from the get-go, the Lightning lost in overtime 3-2.

The Islanders opened up the scoring at the 2:15 mark of the first when Michael Grabner got a rebound past Lightning goalie Dan Ellis. The Bolts got one back with less than two minutes to go in the first when former Islander Sean Bergenheim skated in on a breakaway and beat New York goalie Rick DiPietro to tie the game at one.

Marty St. Louis broke the tie early in the second,  skating down the right wing chipping a shot past DiPietro to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead in vintage Marty St. Louis fashion. P.A. Parenteau answered right back for New York on the power play at the 10-minute mark of the second to tie the score at two a-piece. One of the key points in the game came later in the second when the Lightning would get a full five-on-three power play with both Trevor Gillies and Jon Sim going off for New York. The Islanders were able to kill of the penalties however, keeping the score tied at two.

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