TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos took very little enjoyment out of his record-tying night because the Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t in postseason contention.
Stamkos scored twice to tie the Lightning’s single-season record with 52 goals, and Tampa Bay beat the New York Islanders 4-3 on Saturday night.
“I don’t think it means too much right now with where we are in the standings,” Stamkos said. “It’s nice. We’d like to be doing that in the playoffs.”
One season after a surprise run to the Eastern Conference finals, the Lightning are in 11th place and on their way to missing the playoffs.
Stamkos gave the Lightning a 2-0 lead with his second of the night and tied Vincent Lecavalier’s club record 1:46 into the second. Stamkos also assisted on Tim Wallace’s goal that gave Tampa Bay a 4-3 edge at 12:10 of the third.
“I think he was terrific,” Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. “Stamkos has proven he’s a character guy.”
Matt Moulson netted his 33rd goal to put the Islanders ahead 3-2 just 43 seconds into the third, but Tampa Bay tied it on Tom Pyatt’s goal at 9:08.
Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo also scored for the Islanders, who are 2-1 on a five-game road trip.
“We created a lot of chances and were pretty good offensively,” New York coach Jack Capuano said.
Stamkos gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead when he beat goalie Al Montoya with a backhander from just outside the crease 15:49 in. The NHL goal leader hadn’t scored in four games, dating to his 50th of the season on March 13 against Boston.
“You know they’re going to come eventually if you keep at it,” Stamkos said.
Nielsen got the Islanders within 2-1 by scoring a power-play goal at 8:15 of the second. Okposo had his shot during a breakaway stopped by former Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson, and John Tavares hit the post later in the period.
Okposo, who skated off gingerly after landing awkwardly following his breakaway, tied it at 2 with a low-slot backhander with 36 seconds left in the second.
Tavares had two in-close shots stopped by Roloson in the opening minute of the game. Montoya turned aside two other good scoring chances by Stamkos during the first period.
Roloson made 34 saves. Montoya stopped 22 shots.
“We felt like we carried the play at times,” Islanders defenseman Steve Staios said. “The mistakes we made were big ones. We gave them five-star chances, and that was the game for us.”
New York defenseman Mark Streit extended his point streak to six games when he assisted on Moulson’s 100th NHL goal. Moulson scored after Streit’s unsuccessful wraparound attempt.
Streit has seven assists and eight points during his spurt.
NOTES: Stamkos has nine goals and 17 points in 16 games against the Islanders. … Tavares had an assist, giving him six assists and 11 points in his last seven games. … Roloson played in his 600th NHL game. … Teddy Purcell and Martin St. Louis assisted on both of Stamkos’ goals. … The teams split the season series, with the home team winning all four games. … Tampa Bay is 23-3-7 in one-goal games this season.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.