Bolts clobbered early by Las Vegas

by Gary Shelton on February 19, 2023

in general

Namestnikov scored the first goal./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 a.m.

You have to hand it to Lightning coach Jon Cooper. The guy has a way with words.

To sum up, the first period of Saturday night's game was "frustrating."

The third period was "disappointing."

And in the end, it was a bummer of a night for the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night. A 5-4 loss to the Las Vegas Knights left Bolts' coach Jon Cooper grasping for words to try to describe the letdown of his team.

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Perry brought the Bolts within one./TIM WIRT

The Bolts, fresh off a game in which they didn't allow a goal in regulation or overtime and still lost, came out and gave up four goals on the first eight shots of the game by the Knights, one by former draft pick Brett Howden and two by former team member Jonathan Marchessault.

"It was really uncharacteristic for us to give up as many goals as we gave up considering how well we played," said Cooper. "It seemed like every time we went down the ice it ended up in our net in some weird way. Regardless, you can’t give up four.

"The frustrating part for me was this. After two periods, I thought we controlled the game. My disappointment is that in a game I felt like we were controlling, we didn’t push the way we should have in the third, We had one period left to play and we’re headed home. I don’t like the way it turned out. We didn’t;t push the way we normally do."

The Bolts got back in the game, cutting their deficit to one goal in the period. But an empty-net goal dashed the Bolts hopes.

The Lightning got goals from Vlad Namestnikov, Steven Stamkos, Corey Perry and, with 10.8 seconds left, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

The Bolts now return to home to face Anaheim on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Amalie Arena.

Bellemare scored with 10.8 seconds left./TIM WIRT

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