Bolts fall to Jackets in third period meltdown

by Gary Shelton on November 3, 2023

in general

Stammer had two points./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

For a team struggling to find its way, here’s a suggestion. It should start its search in the third period.

The up-again-down-again Lightning, tied for fifth place in the eight-team Atlantic Division,  lost another road game Thursday night, falling 4-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets had lost four straight games coming in.

The Bolts are now 0-3-1 on the road this season.

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"Now we're just finding ways to lose games," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "That's it. That was a nothing game. That should have been easy and over. You lose a faceoff and tie a guy up going to the net. It was a disappointing third period no doubt."

The Bolts had a 2-1 lead going into the third period but couldn’t hold on, which was one of the strengths of the team during its championship seasons. The Bolts were outscored 3-0 and outshot 12-5 in the final period.

Tampa Bay had taken a 2-1 lead in the second period on two points by Steven Stamkos, both goals coming on deflections off Blue Jackets’ players. Stamkos scored his fourth goal and then passed to Connor Sheary for a second.

But the Lightning couldn’t shut down the Jackets. 

Matt Tompkins started in goal for the Bolts and lost his second game.

The Lightning’s road trip continues on Saturday with a game in Ottawa.

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