Saturday, 3 a.m.
For the Tampa Bay Lightning, Friday night's game was one to forget.
The team started out slow, then couldn't grip a game when they came back.
The Bolts fell behind the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 in the first, then gave up a pair of quick goals in their attempt to come back. In the second period, Tampa Bay scored to narrow the deficit to 2-1, but gave up a third goal in 29 seconds.
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“We were just rotten, that’s it from start to finish,” said Bolts' coach Jon Cooper. “I don’t even know how else to put it. We play 82 games, and I think we just chalk that one up to a stinker. We got taught a lesson from a team who worked way harder than us. We wanted to skill the game and not get in anybody’s way and that’s what happens. I know it was 3-3, but the right team won the hockey game. I give our guys credit, they fought back, but we just made way too many mistakes.”
After the slow start, Tampa Bay got goals from Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov and Jason Garrison.
Tampa Bay managed only four shots in the first period and only nine more in the second. Bishop gave up five goals.
“Obviously they got off to a good start, but we did a good job of coming back,” said Bishop. “We battled our way back to a tie in the third. I’ve got to come up with a big save there. I feel like I let the guys down, but you’ve got to put it past you and get ready for the next one.”
Garrison, who scored his first goal of the season, refused to lay the loss on the goaltenders.
“Our goalies have been our best players to start the season," Garrison said, "so it’s definitely not even close to being on him. We’ve got to play better in front of him.”
Tampa Bay now has a three-game road trip beginning Sunday in Boston.