Bolts busted by Las Vegas again

by Gary Shelton on January 19, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Palat gets a puck past Andre-Fluery./JEFFREY S. KING

Palat gets a puck past Marc Andre-Fleury./JEFFREY S. KING

Friday, 2 a.m.

As they prepare for their mid-term grades, the Tampa Bay Lighting might need to stay after school a bit.

The Lightning lost their second straight game, and their fourth in the last six games, in a 4-1 loss to the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights. The Bolts have lost their last two home games by a total of seven goals.

"I’m concerned that we’ve lost 9-2 in our last two home games," said

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Vegas continued Vasilevskiy's tough streak./JEFFREY S. KING

Vegas continued Vasilevskiy's tough streak./JEFFREY S. KING

Lightning coach Jon Cooper."This is usually a tough place to play for teams. We haven’t made it too much. We got outplayed tonight."

The Bolts' only goal was by Ondrej Palat. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy fell to 1-3-1 in his last five games.

Eakin pushes around Gourde in Bolts' loss./JEFFREY S. KING

Eakin pushes around Gourde in Bolts' loss./JEFFREY S. KING

“I think our team works pretty hard," Cooper said. "They’re just not working smart. They know the right way of playing. They’re not playing the right way, so we’re just taking easy routes out now that we never took before. That’s what we’re doing. That’s what’s ultimately happening. I would not put it on the guys' effort.”

Still, the Bolts have some tuning up to do as they embark on an eight-game road trip.

"We need to take a look in the mirror, starting with myself, and give more of a

Johnson takes a shot for Bolts./JEFFRE;Y S. KING

Johnson takes a shot for Bolts./JEFFRE;Y S. KING

passionate performance," said the Bolts' Steven Stamkos. We can’t just go out there and expect to win.

“Say whatever you want to say, whether we’re at home, we’re on the road, we need to play better and there’s no sugar coating it. So like I said, I‘ll take responsibility and the leadership group is going to take responsibility in this room and the belief in each other is what’s going to overcome this skid that we have. No matter who’s in the lineup, we know this group. We have confidence in each other. We need to show it.”

Tampa Bay is 4-5 in its last nine games.

“Tonight there was a lot of issues," said defenseman Anton Stralman. "Defensively it wasn’t good obviously, but it all starts with how we play. We’re not a good team if we don’t work, and tonight was one of those nights that we didn’t show. They’re a good team. I don’t think they did anything remarkable, we just didn’t put up a fight and that's on us.”

Stralman said he was concerned about how many goals his team was giving up.

“Yeah, I’m very concerned. You won’t win a lot of games letting in 4, 5, 6 goals a night. It shows that we have a lot to work on and it starts with how hard we work and how smart we work and just the commitment on doing all those details. What makes us successful is when we play simple. We play simple hockey, skate hard, work hard, and we out work teams. It’s not like we’re way more skilled than the other teams. It’s the work that puts us in those positions, and that’s where we need to be more consistent."

Tampa Bay plays at Minnesota on Saturday. The puck drops at 9 p.m.

Stamkos goes hard after the puck./JEFFREY S. KING

Stamkos goes hard after the puck./JEFFREY S. KING





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