Bolts winning streak finally comes to an end vs. Jets

by Gary Shelton on December 17, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Stralman returned to the ice Sunday./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Monday, 3 a.m.

Eventually, you knew they were going to have to lose again. Didn't you?

Somewhere along the line, the Lightning was bound to stub its toe. Some night, against an excellent opponent, on the road, in overtime, the Bolts were going to give up a rebound for a goal that would spoil their night. Some night, the other goalie would be hot, and the other star would knock in the winner on a contested goal, and the other team would celebrate.

You know. Like Sunday night.

The Bolts dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to the Winnipeg Jets Sunday night. It snapped an eight-game winning streak for Tampa Bay, tied for the second longest

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Stamkos had his 16th goal of the season./CARMEN MANDATO

streak in the NHL this season and tied for second in franchise history. The Bolts are 11-1-1 over their last 13 games.

Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele scored with 42 seconds remaining in overtime for the game-winner.

“It was a good game," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "Two good teams playing, we played well enough to win the game. It’s tough. We had the possession and we probably passed on a bunch of shots in overtime. But we had some looks. They got the last one that went in.”

Cooper thought the Bolts scored enough, but he wasn't satisfied defensively.

“Offensively, we played well enough to win the game," Cooper said. "Defensively, we have better in us. Let’s be honest, they’re a good team out there too. They’re trying to score as well. It was just a couple of mistakes. I thought we really controlled that third period and we got the lead. You turn the puck over, you fuel the rush, you do that a couple times and it ended up hurting us. We played well enough to win that hockey game. It probably deserved to go to overtime and they just made the final play.”

The Bolts got goals from Alex Killorn (his eighth), Steven Stamkos (his 16th), Tyler Johnson (his 14th) and Nikita Kucherov (his 14th).

“We had some great chances, but we knew it was going to be a tight back-and-forth entertaining game with those two teams playing, which it was," Stamkos said. "We had the lead with 10 minutes to go and we let them get back in the game. There was definitely some good things, and I thought we controlled play there for a majority of it. We had stretches. They had stretches. That’s just the way it is. I still think we need to tighten up on the defensive side of things, but it’s nine games in a row with a point. We’ll keep putting those in the bank.”

Winnipeg, which reached the Western Conference final last year, has 46 points on the season. The Bolts have 52.

“It’s obviously two teams that are neck and neck," said Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh. "At one point, you look up and it’s 4-4 and 31 shots a piece and two good teams that are real close. I think it was kind of a sloppier game for two teams that are pretty high in the standings obviously as far as puck management. We had a lot of turnovers and we created some of our own against them. I think we want to control a little bit better when we have the puck on our stick and certainly no bigger one than when I turned it over at the blue line.”

Said Killorn: “We don’t want to play run and gun-type hockey. When you look at last year, it seemed Vasy saved us a lot of the times, a lot of those wins were due to him. It seems like we’re playing more complete games this year and we want to continue to do that, just make it easier on him.”

The Bolts play Vancouver on the road Tuesday night. The puck is scheduled to drop at 10 p.m. Eastern time.





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