Lightning’s dance with mediocrity continues

by Gary Shelton on April 2, 2018 · 2 comments

in general

Killorn battles for the puck against Subban./CARMEN MANDATO

Killorn battles for the puck against Subban./CARMEN MANDATO

Monday, 2 a.m.

The late-season swoon of the Tampa Bay Lightning has never looked more dire, more desperate, than it does today.

The Bolts lost their fourth game of their last five Sunday night, falling 4-1 to Nashville.  Tampa Bay now trails the Predators and the Bruins in the race for the league's best overall record.

Perhaps more disappointing? The Bolts played the final two periods without captain Steven Stamkos, who was injured.

“For 50 minutes I thought we did a lot of good things," Cooper said. "I think we got a little frustrated when they got those two (goals) pretty quick in the

Hedman, Johansen jostle for position./CARMEN MANDATO

Hedman, Johansen jostle for position./CARMEN MANDATO

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Vasilevskiy is knocked down and unable to stop Nashvlle's scoring./CARMEN MANDATO

Vasilevskiy is knocked down and unable to stop Nashvlle's scoring./CARMEN MANDATO

third. It was too bad because we were really leaning on them for the last half of the second period. You could tell they were getting tired and they did a good job blocking shots. There’s way too many shots getting blocked on a nightly basis for us, and part of that it because the team is defending but a lot of that is because of us.”

Palat scored the only goal for the Lightning./CARMEN MANDATO

Palat scored the only goal for the Lightning./CARMEN MANDATO

Without Stamkos, the Bolts went 0-5 on the power play.

“Well the guys been playing on the power play all year," Cooper said. "You lose a guy that scores a lot of power-play goals for you, naturally it’s not going

to help, but we had a couple good looks. But our problem was in the end there, again, easy plays to get in the zone and we just didn’t make them. Just execution, that was the issue.”

Ryan Callahan thought the Lightning played better than the three-goal margin would indicate.

Callahan battles for position./CARMEN MANDATO

Callahan battles for position./CARMEN MANDATO

“We said that we’re always going to evaluate ourselves and how we’re playing, not by wins or losses," Callahan said. "That’s held true the whole year. There’s been wins where we’re not happy. There’s been losses where we liked most of our game. Tonight, minus the last 12 minutes, I thought we played a really good game, so it’s coming here. I’m really happy with our effort and how we’re going.”

The Lightning returns to the ice Tuesday night when Boston comes to play. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 p.m.

Stamkos is broth down being the net./CARMEN MANDATO

Stamkos is brought down behind the net./CARMEN MANDATO

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill MYERS April 2, 2018 at 8:33 am

One good thing….Boston lost too! Tuesday night may be a preview of a play off battle between these two teams. GO BOLTS!

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Gary Shelton April 2, 2018 at 9:47 am

Remember, kn 2004-05, the big opponents were taken care of for the Lightning. Wouldn’t hurt if that happened again.

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