Lightning lacks power to beat Capitals

by Gary Shelton on December 22, 2019

in general

Kucherov scored the 200th goal of his career./CHUCK MULLER

Monday, 3 a.m.

Is it time to reassess the way we all look at the Tampa Bay Lightning?

As disappointing as it was last season when the Bolts bowed quickly out of the Stanley Cup playoffs, this year, the bottom has fallen out. Instead of a dangerous offense, the Bolts are having problems putting the puck in the net. Instead of efficient goaltending, the Bolts are sputtering.

Overall they are 17-13-4, in sixth place in the Atlantic Division. And all of the sizzle seems to have vanished.

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Hedman had five shots for the Bolts./CHUCK MULLER

That was evident Saturday night, as the suddenly punchless Lightning dropped a 3-1 decision to Washington.

“I can't sit here and say we played very well," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "I can't say that about our team in the last month and a half. It was two tough periods for us. (Curtis) McElhinny kept us us in it.

In all, the Lightning had seven power plays and didn't score.

"They’re a good team," Cooper said. "We’ve played these guys twice before and the games have been well played, even games. For two periods, this was disappointing. They played last night and we didn’t. We fought back in the third. We had a chance to win or at least a chance to get a point out of the game and we didn’t. They can find ways to win and right now we’re not."

Nikita Kucherov scored the Lightning's only goal, the 200th of his career.

Tampa Bay is home Monday night against Florida. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m.

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