Sunday, 4 a.m.
At first glance, it seemed that the Lightning had stopped the puck. Officials ruled that Patrick Marleau had crashed into Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop.
On further review, officials ruled that the puck had crossed the line. Still, it was no goal because of Marleau's interference.
But after another review, the San Jose Sharks finally got their goal. Officials ruled that it was Lightning defender Brayden Point, not Marleau, who skated into Bishop. Goal.
The Lightning never quite seemed to recover from
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the play, which left them playing from behind for the 10th time in 15 games. The Sharks scored again three minutes later, then coasted to 3-1 victory over the Lightning. Tommy Wingels and Marc-Edoird Vlasic scored for the Sharks.
“Yeah I don’t know how (Bishop) is supposed to make a save there, but I don’t have the rulebook in front of me," said team captain Steven Stamkos. "I don’t know what the rule is. Obviously they review it and they call it. We can’t do anything about it once it happens. I mean it’s only 1-0, so that’s no excuse for our group. We can’t go down 3-0 to a team like that and expect to win.”
Lightning coach Jon Cooper, however, said the goal shouldn't have deflated the Bolts.
"How early in the game was that," Cooper said.
Rather, Cooper was down over the lethargy of the team.
“I mean, did we have chances to score?" Cooper said. "Sure we did. I thought we had more chances to score than they did. Again, it comes down to the first period. They played fast, north-south hockey, and I thought we kind of slowed the game down. We were a little bit more deliberate. We had to navigate our way into their zone more often than not, and then we had to go to work in the offensive zone.
"We weren’t creating really anything in the north-south type game. On the other side of things, they did that. That’s how they got their penalty shot. That’s how things got going. Uultimately we weren’t hungry enough to shoot pucks. Again we’re going back into old habits that we’ve been trying to break for years. You look at the best chances we had we were funneling pucks to the net, we were going there hard. We did that on occasion. That’s when we had some chances, but most of the night we didn’t.”
Anton Stralman scored a goal in the third period for the Lightning.
The Lightning continues to seek consistency in their game.
“Tonight was tough," Cooper said. "I thought it was a little bit of an uninspired effort for some of the game especially when we went down the third goal.
"We showed a little spark in the third especially when we got the goal but then after we scored the goal I’m not so sure we had two shots on goal for the rest of the game. You can’t do that. We had the goalie pulled for three minutes and 45 seconds. We got zero shots on goal. You can’t do that. You’ve got the extra guy out there. We need to create some scrambles and do some things around the net. You don’t get a shot on goal and it’s really, really hard to come back. That last three-and-a-half minutes can pretty much sum up what happened for the first 57.”
The Lightning now plays on the road in 12 of its next 17 games, including a game Monday night against the Islanders.