Lightning streak ends with third period fail

by Gary Shelton on February 21, 2020

in general

Stamkos scored two power play goals./CHUCK MULLER

Friday, 4 a.m.


They lost?

Is that even possible? Is it under league rules? Can the Tampa Bay Lightning really finish second in a game?

A streak in which the Lightning seemed invincible came to a thudding halt Thursday night with a 5-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. After 11 straight wins, and six in a row on the road, the Lightning saw their run end.

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The Bolts surendered two goals in the first 47 seconds of the third period --- shortly after one late in the second -- to lead to their doom.

"There was under four minutes to go (in the second), and we just didn’t manage the puck," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We gave them a breakaway to a pretty darned good player. That’s the stuff we haven’t been doing on the run we’re on. That was tough, and the first minute of the third was the backbreaker for us."

The game also put the brakes on the play of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who allowed five goals, the most he's allowed in his last 25 games. Vasilevskiy had been 19-0-2 in his last 21 games and the Bolts had achieved a point in each of them.

Cooper said poor puck management hurt his team.

"In the end , if you want to talk about what cost us in the game, yeah, that cost us the game," Cooper said. "We just didn’t manage the puck. Vegas managed it a little better than we did. When you do that, it can be hard. You make it hard on yourselves. A good team like them, they capitalized and that was it.

"Let's not forget, we just reeled off 11 in a row against a lot of really quality opponents. Eventually, someone is going to get you and somebody got us tonight. You live and learn and move on. Let's make sure we clean up our mistakes."

Steven Stamkos scored twice for Tampa Bay, ending a streak where the power play was one-for-34. Kevin Shattenkirk scored the other Lightning goal.

Blake Coleman made his debut for the Bolts.

Tampa Bay now travels to Arizona for a game on Saturday. The puck is scheduled to drop at 8 p.m.

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