Bolts blow lead against struggling Sharks

by Gary Shelton on February 8, 2023

in general

Point scored twice in defeat./TIM WIRT

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

They had the script written. They were going to bounce back. They were going to lick their wounds. They were going to push around a bad team from the West, the way they usually do at home.

And then the bottom fell out for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Bolts squandered away a lead and a game, and a chance to feel better about themselves as the defending Stanley Cup champions near. They lost 4-3 in overtime to

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Colton scored the game's first goal./TIM WIRT

San Jose -- a team that has won half as many games this year.

Among the wasted:

-- They had 37 shots, and they launched 81, and they had six power plays. And they missed 34 of the 37 and five power play chances.

-- They held a 3-1 lead and seemed to be dictating the game. Then San Jose hung around and pulled the game out. Timo Meier scored the winning goal at 2:19 in an overtime dominated by the Sharks.

-- They held San Jose to three power plays. They gave up goals on two of them.

In the end, it hardly mattered that the Bolts came out strong in the first period. That momentum slipped away, however.

“It was an unreal response," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We came out and dictated play and did everything we wanted to do for 20 minutes. And then special teams took over and we lost the special teams’ game. That was it."

The Bolts got two goals from Brayden Point and one from Ross Colton. Steven Stamkos had a goal disallowed for offsides.

In the closing seconds of the first period, Meier hit the crossbar on a breakaway.

"Did we have some grade triple A (chances)," Cooper said. "Yeah pointer hit the post. Ross had basically one he scores on 95 percent of the time. That may have dictated our mental state when they didn’t go . All of the sudden you let the other team hang around. For us, the mental side of things got the best of us tonight."

Brian Elliott took the loss for Tampa Bay, allowing four goals on just 22 shots.

The Bolts are home again on Thursday night against Colorado, a team they lost to in last season's Stanley Cup finals. The game begins at 7 p.m.

Elliott gave up four goals in loss./TIM WIRT

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