Lightning loses to Wild as defense struggles

by Gary Shelton on December 6, 2019

in general

Hedman scored his 100th goal./CARMEN MANDATO

Friday, 4 a.m

Defense? What defense?

The Tampa Bay Lightning offered barely any resistance to the Minnesota Wild Thursday night, losing an embarrassing 5-4 defeat at Amalie Arena that left their head coach fuming and their players red-faced.

The Lightning fell to 13-10-3 with the loss. Goaltender Andrei Vaselivskiy stopped only 16 of 21 shots on the night.

The Lightning suffered two quick go-ahead goals. After tying the game at 3-3 on a goal by Victor Hedman, the Wild scored the tie-breaker in only 36 seconds. Later, when the Lightning tied the game at 4-4 on a goal by Alex Killorn, the Wild took just eight second to break the tie.

"One too many?" said coach Jon Cooper/. "We’re giving up three too many. The pride we're taking in our d-zone is unacceptable right now. Here we've thrown some good games together lately where we've played pretty well. But you're giving up goals like that. In this league, you’ve got no chance. No chance.

"You’re going to come and say ‘hey, you’re going to score four goals tonight.” You're thinking you’re going to win the game, not play a game where you’re going to get no point. there’s going to have to be a little urgency and not score your way to wins."

For the second straight game, the Lightning gave up three goals in the first period. But the inability to protect its net after scoring was the crusher.

“We talk it eye to eye," Cooper said. "It’s the biggest shift of the game. One's within (36) seconds and a blown zone coverage. The other one should never happen  It’s unacceptable after you’ve worked so hard to get the tying goal. You can’t give those up."

ampa Bay, which is 1-3-1 over its last five games, got goals from Erik CernakMikhail SergachevVictor Hedman and Alex Killorn

The Lightning is home against the San Jose Sharks Saturday night at Amalie Arena. The puck is schedule to drop at 7 p.m.


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