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Lightning falls back to .500 after late loss to Islanders

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The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to try to get a foothold on their hockey season.

Perhaps a three-game winning streak had convinced you that the Lightning had awakened. Not so much. The Lightning lost their second straight Saturday night, blowing a two-goal lead and falling 3-2 to the New York Islanders.

John Tavares scored the only goal of the third period to snap a 2-2 tie. Tampa Bay had jumped to a lead on a goal by Alex Killorn and, early in the second period, one by Anton Stralman. But Josh Bailey and Cal Clutterbuck scored to tie things.

Tavares’ goal came with 3:36 to play and was the fifth power play goal surrendered by Tampa Bay in two games.

“Naturally you read things and hear that, and I’ve known that for some time,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said, but I don’t think it’s that if you are not in a playoff spot by Thanksgiving, it’s if you are more than a few points out and we haven’t fallen into that realm so we are feeling a little bit better about ourselves.”

Goaltender Ben Bishop had 19 saves for the Lightning.

Tampa Bay slides to 11-11-2 for the season. They now face a three-game road trip where they will face Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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