When B.J. Crombeen saw his name was listed on the starting lineup, along with Pierre-Cedric Labrie, the message was clear that there was a message to deliver.

"It's easy to get pushed out of buildings, and that's not going to happen with this team this year,'' Crombeen said.

So almost immediate as the puck was dropped to open Monday's game, Crombeen dropped the gloves to square off against New York's Matt Martin while Labrie did the same against Islanders D Joe Finley. Once those players were all settled in the penalty box, as the teams were lined up for the faceoff again, Ryan Malone and Colin McDonald began to exchange a few shoves, resulting in matching unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

The result was 24 minutes in penalties handed out with one second elapsed on the clock, but there was also a desired result from the opening faceoff incidents.

"We definitely haven't had a start like that, which I thought was great, it showed a lot,'' Malone said. "This year, we have a lot more size and grit to us, and that's nice to have.''

Given some of the road performances the Lightning have had in recent seasons, Lightning coach Guy Boucher wanted to ensure there was spark at the beginning of the game.

"We didn't want to look horrible the way we have the last few years here, because some of our worst games ever were here,'' Boucher said. "And we looked just so bad that we wanted to bring some emotion to the start.''

Already in the past

C Vinny Lecavalier appeared in his 1,000th career game, but it certainly did not end the way he would have liked, on the losing side of a 4-3 result to the Islanders.

"For me, it's a number and I'm proud of it, but I've already moved on,'' said Lecavalier, who played 17 minutes, 18 seconds while registering one shot and finishing minus-2.

The Lightning captain became the 49th player to appear in 1,000 games with the same franchise and the 280th player in league history to reach the milestone. He also ranks fifth all-time for games played by a first overall pick for the team that drafted him.