Defensive breakdowns doom the Lightning

by Gary Shelton on January 28, 2020

in general

Lightning's Stamkos scored two goals./CHUCK MULLER

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

Following a long break for the All-Star game, the Tampa Bay Lightning returned to play Monday night in Dallas.

Sort of.

Officially, the Lighting played another game. But after a mix of turnovers and odd-man rushes, it didn't quite seem so in a 3-2 overtime loss to Dallas. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, trying for his 11th-straight victory, looked as if he had sports cars buzzing around him for much of the night.

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“Way too many odd-man rushes," said Steven Stamkos, who scored both Tampa Bay goals. "Turnovers and bad lays by us. Sloppy. We’ve got to learn some lessons from tonight

"We gave up six or seven odd-man rushes. I can't remember the last time we've given up that many. We've had like, six in the last 10 gamrs. It's uncharacteristic of the way we've been playing. We've got to correct that."

Even Dallas' winning goal came when Jamie Benn stole the puck from Brayden Point and had a one-on-one with Vasilevskiy. He scored his second goal of the night.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper agreed.

"We gave up more chances on  turnovers and odd man rushes than we’ve given up in two months," Cooper said. "It was fitting the game ended on a turnover. You can chalk it up to whatever you want. Give a team like that chances and they're going to burn you. We got a point out of it. We'll take that."

Cooper thought his team overpassed instead of putting more pressure on Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop, a former Lightning player.

Stamkos' first goal came when he deflected a shot by Nikita Kucherov into the net. His second game with 1:26 to play when the Bolts capitalized on a six-on-five to tie.

The Bolts are in Los Angeles to play the Kings on Wednesday night. The puck drops at 10 p.m.

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