Bolts lose first game of year to Jackets

by Gary Shelton on January 24, 2021

in general

Cernak was injured against Columbus./CHUCK MULLER

Sunday, 4 a.m.

They have lost again. For the first time in 119 days, the Tampa Bay Lightning has come out second in a game.

Frankly, they didn't like it very much.

The Lightning, for the first time this season, took one on the nose Saturday afternoon, losing a 5-2 decision to Columbus that left everyone around rather grumpy. The Bolts gave up three goals in the first period, then was unable to score in the final two PERIODS.

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"I haven’t seen us play that bad since before the pause (last year)…the first pause," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "We weren’t in sync at all. No one really gave us much in the game.

"Egregious turnovers, something that was not a trademark for us anywhere in our playoff run. Goals three four and five were off egregious turnovers. If you’re not managing the puck, it’s going to be a problem for us. We couldn’t score our way out of it tonight."

The Bolts lost players Mitchell Stephens and Eric Cernak during the game

". I tried to do too much at the blue line and lost a lot of pucks," said Mikhail Sergachev. It wasn't my game."

Cooper was kinder about Sergachev's play.

“Was he at his best?" Cooper asked. "No. Have we seen him play way better? Yes. Was it the worst game of his career, I highly doubt that. Maybe in the NHL. He’s grown as a player. The growth is not coming from sitting in front of a microphone and saying it was his worst game. The growth is 'what are you going to do at practice Monday or Tuesday? It's how you respond from what he considers a subpar performance. He wasn’t the only one. it was all of us as a collective. We weren’t on our game tonight."

The Bolts are now scheduled to travel to Carolina, where they are scheduled to play on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

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