Lightning comeback can’t pull out a victory

by Gary Shelton on March 10, 2023

in general

Point tied his career high with his 41st goal./Tim Wirt

Friday, 4 a.m.

For a precious few minutes, it looked as if the Tampa Bay Lightning was going to have a memorable comeback Thursday night.

Instead, they ended up with another forgettable loss.

The Bolts, 3-9 in their last 12 games, lost a 4-3 overtime game to the Las Vegas Golden Knights. It wiped out a terrific comeback by the Bolts, who got goals from Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point in the final 127 seconds to force overtime. Down 3-1, Kucherov scored with 2:07 left, and Point scored with 27.7 seconds to go.

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Kucherov had another three-point night./TIM WIRT

That was wiped away, however, when Alec Martinez dove past a sprawling Andrei Vasilevskiy to tap in the winning goal with 3:06 gone in overtime. Vasilevskiy is 3-6 in his last nine games.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said the play of his team was much better than it has been.

"Honestly, I liked everything about our game," Cooper said. "We deserve points out of that game. The way it came it was impressive, but it probably shouldn’t have gotten to that point.

"Look at that little slide we had. That was a completely different team everybody watched tonight. I thought we were way better than we were against Philadelphia. The best we’ve played for a while."

The Bolts gave up a goal 27 seconds into the game, and another short-handed goal (their 11th of the season) later in the game.

Point scored two goals, bringing his season total to 41. That ties Point with his career-best. Only Stamkos (six) has more than Point's two 40-goal seasons (Kucherov also has two).

It was a physical game, with 69 combined hits and 144 penalty minutes.

The Bolts are at home at Amalie Arena at 7 p.m. against Chicago on Saturday night. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m.

Vasi has struggled as of late./TIM WIRT

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