Bolts’ furious finish falls short against Predators

by Gary Shelton on November 20, 2018 · 0 comments

in Tampa Bay Lightning

Hedman scored early, but it didn't hold./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 3 a.m.

Sometimes, a team just loses.

Sometimes, the other goaltender is better. Sometimes, the calls go the other way. Sometimes, none of the flurry of final shots goes in.

Yeah, it was one of those nights for the Lighting Monday night in Nashville, as a sluggish start turned into a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Predators and goalkeeper Pekka Rinne.

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The Bolts fell behind 3-1, but Nikita Kucherov brought the Bolts to within a goal with 3:25 to play, and Tampa Bay had several near-misses in the dying moments of the game.

The Lightning had another goal disallowed when Alex Killorn was called for tripping just before he scored.

"It was really unfortunate we had that goal taken back," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "It’s a little tougher to come back in the third when you’re down two instead of one. We did everything we could to win that hockey game, or at least tie it up. We just couldn’t find a way.

"It was two different games. They dictated in the first half, we dictated in the second half. We both scored three, one of ours was called back."

Goaltender Louis Domingues stopped 31 of 34 shots. His record fell to 5-3 on the season.

“Your goaltender has to give you a chance to win, that’s what he did," Cooper said. "We’re pressing there, they get the breakaway and he stopped it. He gave us a chance. I didn’t even see (Filip) Forsberg’s. That was in and out. I don’t know too many people that are stopping that one. It was unfortunate we gave up that first one.  We had a really good penalty kill. They just kept hammering away, but I thought overall Louis was good.”

Domingue thought Tampa Bay was going to win the game.

“It’s similar to last game," Domingue said "It’s a big momentum game, and I don’t know, we started being above them and a lot more structured and then the wind changed and went our way. Since the eight-minute mark in the second period, we took over that game. To be honest, I thought we would tie that game and win. It’s one of those nights where it just didn’t quite bounce for us at the end, a post and then when we pulled the goalie we had a ton of chances we couldn’t quite finish. Most of the time we’re going to win those games.”

Victor Hedman scored the first goal for the Bolts. He agreed the Lightning played better in the second half of the game.

“I think the game had two phases," Hedman said. "They probably dominated half the game and we dominated half the game. Score equal amount of goals, just one of ours gets disallowed. Two good teams going at it, high pace all over the ice. Two great goaltenders. It’s a fun game to play.

“It’s a bang-bang play (on Killorn's disallowed goal). If I was on Nashville’s team, I would have probably wanted a penalty. That’s how it happens sometimes. It’s just emotions in the game, frustration sets in. We hemmed them in their own end for quite a while, get a big goal and it gets disallowed. It’s tough. That’s hockey sometimes. We’ve been on both sides. We’ve just got to keep going.”

Killorn said he hadn't watched the replay.

“I haven’t seen it. It was one of those things where we were kind of battling for position," Killorn said. "I don’t know if my stick caught him. I know most of the time their guys go down to try to lay out for those, so I don’t know if that’s what he was doing or if I tripped him. But I haven’t seen it.”

The Lightning now returns home for a five-game homestand. Tampa Bay plays host to the Florida Panthers Wednesday night (7:30 puck drop).





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