Missed opportunity costs Tampa Bay in loss

by Gary Shelton on December 22, 2022

in general

Point scored his 17th goal./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

An early opportunity went by the boards, and once again, the Tampa Bay Lightning lost a game to the team they once owned, the Detroit Red Wings.

The Bolts had 113 seconds with a five-on-three advantage in the first period of Thursday's night and squandered it. It would haunt the Bolts for the rest of the night in a 7-4 loss to the Wings, a second straight game that Tampa Bay has lost against a team it used to dominate.

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 GarySheltonSports.com 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 GarySheltonSports.com.

Elliott had a tough third period./TIM WIRT

The Bolts gave up four goals in the third period -- two of them empty-netters -- to lose in a period they normally dominate. This time, they did not.

"You let a two minute five-on-three slide by..." Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "The game changed right there. They got momentum off it and we felt sorry for ourselves. We could have put it away there and we didn’t do it."

The Bolts led 1-0 at the time, but never quite recovered after the wasted chance. They did tie it at 3-3 going into the third period, but Brian Elliott -- who had been excellent as a backup, winning seven straight games -- was leaky in the third period. His turnover led to the go-ahead goal, and he was not tight enough against the post for another goal.

The Bolts have now given up four empty-netters in 24 hours.

Tampa Bay got goals from Brayden Point, Ross Colton, Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov.

"The last 24 hours have sucked ," Cooper said. "But we are like 20-11 (20-11-1). I f we can do that in our next 31 games or so I’ll take that. It's a good time for us to reset."

The Lightning was scheduled to play Friday night in Buffalo, but that game was postponed due to weather and will be made up in March. The Bolts do not play again until Dec. 28 at home against Montreal.

Killorn scored for the Bolts./TIM WIRT

Previous post:

Next post: