Lightning’s slump ends with humbling loss

by Gary Shelton on March 6, 2023

in general

Vasilevsiiy had another tough night./TIM WIRT

Monday, 4 a.m.

Has the Tampa Bay Lightning hit the bottom yet? And if not, how much further can they fall?

The Bolts took it on the nose again Sunday, losing an embarrassing 6-0 game to the Carolina Hurricanes, a loss that came one day after the team was so thoroughly beaten by Buffalo that coach Jon Cooper benched his brightest stars in the third period.

The Bolts have won just two games in their last 10. In their last five, they have allowed 27 goals.

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Stamkos disappointed with team's play./Tim Wirt

How humiliating was this?

-- In the second period, the Bolts didn't have a shot on goal, the first team to go without one for an entire period in the NHL this season. They had just four shots in the first period.

-- The Bolts gave up a hat trick to Teuvo Teravainen.

-- To make matters worse, they lost Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev and Nikita Kucherov to injuries for parts of the game.

"Do we like our group?" Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “We do. Do we know we have better in us? We do. We’re just in a rut right now."

It is the most pronounced funk of several seasons for the Bolts. who are now 15-16-1 away from home. No team in the league has won few than two games in their last 10.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has lost four of his last five. As a team, the Bolts have given up more than 30 shots in six straight games.

“No one’s happy about what’s gone on here  the last little bit," Stamkos said. "Our standards are real high. There are going to be adverse times in the season, and it’s better to go through it now than in a month. It's snowballing on us now, and that's what good teams avoid. But it can go the other way, too. When things go wrong, it can get in your head a little bit. It can be more of a mental thing than a physical thing."

The Bolts are at home at Amalie Arena on Tuesday night to play Philadelphia, another team that has struggled in its last 10 games.

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