Lightning shredded against Predators

by Gary Shelton on April 14, 2021

in general

Gourde scored his 15th goal./STEVEN MUNCIE

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

Welcome to Tampa Bay, David Savard.

Goodness knows, it will get better.

Won't it?

Savard, acquired in a trade from Columbus this week, made his debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and he quickly saw opposing skaters flying free down the ice. It was the worst defensive night of the year for the Bolts, who lost 7-2 to the Nashville Predators.

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Savard was brought in to stabilize the defense of the Bolts. At the time, it seemed to be a stride toward repeating as Stanley Cup champions, but for much of the night, Savard saw breakaways by the Predators en route to their easy win.

For the night, Savard was a minus-four.

"There was only one team playing," said Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh. "They were quicker than us, more detailed. That was one of the worst  performances i’v seen in a Lightning uniform by our group. It's a tough time of the year to do that when we have the excitement of a new addition and guys coming back. At the end of the day, we’ve got to understand that we’ve got a lot of work to do if we want to give ourselves a chance to make anything special out of this year. It was an absolute embarrassment."

The Bolts had been 6-1 against the Predators before the game, but fell behind in the first period, when Nashville scored three goals on only seven shots. Goaltender Curtis McElhinney fell to 3-5-1 on the season. He's lost his last four games, giving up 18 goals.

"That was a tough one to watch," said Lighting coach Jon Cooper. "Not in a sense that it’s a tough score and we gave Mac zero help. It was the chances we gave ul. Nashville would go 12 minutes without a shot  on goal and then we’d give them a 10-bell, two-on-one and they buried it. That was the frustrating part. We’re better than that and we know better than that.

"We have gotten away from some of the things we do when we have success. I think our guys are bitterly disappointed. I think they’re disappointed for Mac. I don’t care who’s in net ever --you cold bring back Hasek of Brodeur or Roy -- no one is stopping the chances we gave up tonight. We left our guy out to dry."

The Bolts return to Amalie Arena for a season-long six-game home stand starting Thursday with a two-game set against the Florida Panthers (7 p.m. puck drop).

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