Bolts’ backslide continues with sloppy loss

by Gary Shelton on April 9, 2023

in general

Point scored his 49th goal./TIM WIRT

Monday, 4 a.m.

If they had not been so good, for so long, perhaps these days would not seem so homely.

But they are the Tampa Bay Lightning , a team that has lived in the Stanley Cup Finals. And now they seem to be dying.

The Bolts were clobbered yet again Saturday night, losing 7-4 to Ottawa, a non-playoff team. The Bolts gave up 19 goals in three games on this road trip, and on the season, they've given up five goals or more 20 times.

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Hagel scored his 29th./TIM WIRT

The Bolts will enter the playoffs on the road, in Toronto. That's trouble, since the Bolts finished 18-22-1 this year away from home.

"We gave up 19 goals in the three games," Lightning Coach Jon Cooper said. "We gave up one in the previous three before that. That tells you what happened, It’s an extremely disappointing road trip. We’re playing like the season ended when we clinched the playoff spot, like there was no season left. I’m surprised. We're not where we need to be with the playoffs starting in a week."

The Bolts did get the 49th goal of the season from Brayden Point. They also got No. 29 from Brandon Hagel and No. 26 from Alex Killorn. Victor Hedman also scored for the Bolts.

The Bolts started slowly, but they tied it on three power play goals just before the second period ended. However, the Senators scored four of the game's final five goals.

Tampa Bay started backup goaltender Brian Elliott for the second straight game -- to rest Andrei Vasilevskiy -- but he could not take the 40-goal pounding the Senators had. Elliott was 7-1 to start the season, but he is just 2-7 in his last nine games.

The Bolts are at Amalie Arena on Tuesday night to face Toronto, their first-round playoff opponent. The game begins at 7 p.m.

Elliott has been shaky lately./TIM WIRT

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