Bolts give up four power play goals in loss

by Gary Shelton on December 20, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Hedman tied the game late, but Lightning lost./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Hedman tied the game late, but Lightning lost./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Tuesday, 2 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Lighting are the first guys to crap out in Las Vegas.

What are the odds? The Bolts blew a 2-0 lead. They gave up four power play goals. And they surrendered the winning goal with 2.3 seconds left to play to Shea Theodore.

It left the high-soaring Lightning with a 4-3 road loss to the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights. It snapped a

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Stamkos scored a goal early for Bolts./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Stamkos scored a goal early for Bolts./ANDREW J. KRAMER

seven-game winning streak for the Bolts.

“That’s a crappy way to lose a hockey game," said Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos. "We fight back to tie the game. I don’t think anyone would have complained if (the ref) doesn’t call that penalty on them at the end. That’s an iffy call.

"And then I think he feels the need to make up for a mistake, and at that point in the game, the puck’s in the corner, a battle going on, I know it’s tough, I just think it was the wrong call at that time of the game and it ruined a pretty exciting hockey game that was probably going to go to overtime and get this crowd even more excited. It’s a tough way for us to lose, especially when we were short some guys tonight, kind of out of the blue unexpectedly. We had to put a tough game plan together. That’s a really good hockey team over there and an unbelievable atmosphere to play in and they feed off that.”

Lightning coach Jon Cooper was annoyed at giving up four power play goals.

“It’s a definite concern," Cooper said. "In the end, we didn’t give them a 5-on-5 goal. If you’re going to give a team four power-play goals, it’s tough to win those ones. Just the mere fact we’re missing (Tyler Johnson), who’s a big part of that. But still, it was just missed assignments, not in shot lanes. Our penalty kill until the last couple of games has been pretty darn good, but the special teams war in the end it comes back to bite you if you don’t win it and it did tonight.”

Cooper felt for goaltender Andri Vasilevskiy, who had lost his last five in a row.

"We’ve probably got to get a body in front of that (winning goal)," Cooper said. "You’ve got to feel for Vasy in the sense that he’s been so good for us all year. Like to see us get the puck out of the zone in that situation for him. Give them credit, they hung in there to the end and it’s a 60-minute game and they played it right to the end and beat us.”

Victor Hedman tied the game at 3 with 3:52 to play.

"It was a tough one to swallow," Hedman said. "We’ve got to find a way to kill off those penalties. You can’t give up four on the PK and expect to win a hockey game. "

The Bolts return home to play Ottawa on Thursday night. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.



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