Originally created 02/16/99

Islanders, Lightning tie in overtime



UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- When the game ended, the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference each got what they deserved -- a tie.

Vincent Lecavalier assisted on one goal and then scored the game-tying goal with 9:31 left in regulation as the Tampa Bay Lightning came from behind for a 3-3 overtime tie with the New York Islanders.

The Lightning ended an eight-game losing streak on Lecavalier's tap-in. He had a wide-open poke from the left crease after a perfect cross-ice pass from Pavel Kubina for his ninth goal.

"Most teams that don't make the playoffs don't do things like block shots, but these guys did," Tampa Bay coach Jacques Demers said. "We hustled, we were determined and we played hard."

Darcy Tucker and Michael Nylander also scored for the Lightning. Rookie defenseman Karel Betik, playing in his first NHL game, chipped in with two assists.

Zigmund Palffy scored twice for the Islanders.

"We're playing the worst team in the NHL and we're tying them," Palffy said. "For me, it's depressing. I can't take that, and there are no excuses for that.

"We're not working hard enough. Everybody has to step up. We're saying a lot of things in the locker room, but we have to do it on the ice."

Corey Schwab stopped 28 shots for the Lightning and preserved the tie with the save of the game as he dove to rob Mariusz Czerkawski at 2:57 of overtime. New York took all five shots in the extra session, one that was played without a single stoppage.

Czerkawski also scored for the Islanders. Tommy Salo started his second straight game and turned aside 22 shots. New York's power play continued to falter, going 0-for-5. The Islanders have scored on just one for their last 34 manpower advantages, three of 56, and 10 of 133 attempts.

It was the the second straight tie for the Islanders, who are winless in their last five.

Tucker opened the scoring 2:04 into the game when he took a pass down low in the right circle from Betik after a poor clearing attempt and flipped the puck past Salo to the short side.

Mark Lawrence had a goal disallowed for the Islanders at 11:58 when his skate was in the crease.

Czerkawski tied the game at 11:54 on a fluke goal. He and Tampa Bay defenseman Jassen Cullimore whacked sticks with the puck between them. The puck popped up in the air, and landed behind Schwab's right shoulder and bounced in.

Palffy scored the only goal of the second period, 78 seconds in off a rebound of Claude Lapointe's shot.

Nylander tied the game at 6:08 of the third period when he was left wide open to the right of Salo and slipped Lecavalier's pass past the goalie.

Palffy put the Islanders back up 62 seconds later when he picked off a poor clearing attempt in the high slot and slapped the puck off Schwab's glove.

Lecavalier's goal left the teams even, and left Demers happy after Tampa Bay's skid.

"You look at that tic-tac-toe play that tied the game," Demers said. "And these are the kids that are doing that."