Bolts fall behind 2-1 in playoff series

by Gary Shelton on May 7, 2022

in general

Palat celebrates his goal./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 4 a.m.

You can talk about comebacks if you want. You can feel good about the second half of the game. You can forget about two late empty-net goals.

If you are a follower of the Tampa Bay Lightning, you can take heart in the team's play during the second half of Game Three on Friday night at Amalie Arena.

On the other hand, the Bolts areone step away from the edge of the cliff.

The Lightning fell behind 2-1 in their playoff game, falling 5-2 to the

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on

Colton scored for Tampa Bay./TIM WIRT

Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bolts, on home ice, fell behind 3-0. They came back to 3-2 before Toronto wrapped it up with two empty-netters.

“I can’t sit and say we were flat," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "It was hard to judge. We self-imploded. That was a little more of what happened. It’s hard to chase when you’re in the penalty box all the time. It drains you. The parade to the penalty box, it’s got to be exhausting."

Cooper was annoyed the Bolts took five penalties in the first two periods (a third of the playing time). In three games, Tampa Bay has been called for 15 penalties.

"That’s not a winning formula," Cooper said.

Cooper didn't want to seem overly impressed that his team made it close.

"We pushed, but we’re still down 2-1," Cooper said. "We  can sit here and pat ourselves on the back all night long and say 'hey, great job. pushing at the end.' Still, you're down 2-1. We've got to take the positive out of this and move on."

The Bolts are 15-0 after losing a playoff game over the last two seasons. Forward Ross Colton said the team is confident this time, too.

"I don’t think an ounce of doubt in (the locker room)," Colton said. "We’re fine. I guarantee we will be ready to go."

Still, Colton didn't like the way his team played Friday.

“It's pretty upsetting," Colton said. "I think we kind of came out flat. We can’t wait for them to go up a couple of goals and flip the switch. We’ve got to come to the rink with a little more determination."

Colton and Ondrej Palat scored the Tampa Bay goals.

"I love the response," Steven Stamkos said. "We had our looks had some good chances. We've just got to bear down. In the playoffs, it’s the team that sticks with it the longest."

The Bolts play Toronto again on Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. at Amalie Arena.

Previous post:

Next post: