Lightning struggling early after big loss

by Gary Shelton on October 16, 2022

in general

Saturday, 4 a.m.

Three games is a small sample size. It's a start. It's a couple of steps into a long journey.

But for the Tampa Bay Lightning, it's also a concern.

The Bolts fell to 1-2 Saturday night, absorbing a 6-2 pounding at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game was close, 2-1, going into the third period before the Pens ran away with the game.

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So how bad was it? It was so bad that backup goalie Brian Elliott led in five goals (the other was an empty-nettee), and he was singled out for his stellar play by coach Jon Cooper. It was such a bad start that, through three games, Steven Stamkos has four goals, and the rest of the team has four goals.

“We have lots of work to do," Cooper said. "The best players on our team have been our goaltenders. Moose was outstanding tonight. It might have been a lot worse than it was.

"Every single year, we're a different team. We have to find ourselves a bit, but the big thing is, if we're not going to manage the puck and we’re going to turn it over, especially with teams like this, it’ll be a long night. We’ve come through some ebbs and flows before. This is a tough way to start it. We shot ourselves in the foot and they took advantage."

Brayden Point scored his first goal of the year when it was 5-1.

The Bolts play again Tuesday night in their home opener at Amalie Arena against the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:10 p.m.

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