Once again, Bolts become the Road Worriers

by Gary Shelton on March 22, 2023

in general

Point scored his 44th./TIM WIRT

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

This show, sadly, is not ready to be taken on the road.

The miles away from Amalie Arena got to the Tampa Bay Lightning again Tuesday night. They came out sluggish, and they dropped a 3-2 game to Montreal.

The Bolts have lost eight more games away from home than they have at home. In 35 contests, they are only 17-17-1 away from home.

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Maroon Brought his team within one,/TIM WIRT

Of course, you could say the same about Montreal goaltender Sam Montembeault, who had 31 saves. And you could say it about the calendar that has seen the Bolts play a dozen times in March alone (with four to go in the month).

But the road problems are huge. The Bolts are likely to start the post-season at Toronto and then, if successful, at Boston.

"Two egregious turnovers and a bad track and all thre of them ended up in the net," coach Jon Cooper said. Except for their first power play, where they were really dangerous, I didn’t sense scoring chances at all.  Everything they touched went in the net and we for some reason lost our scoring touch tonight."

The Bolts fell behind 2-0 and then 3-1. Brayden Point scored his 44th goal of the year, and Pat Maroon scored to make it close. But the Bolts were unable to get started.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy lost another game. He has won only five of his last fourteen (with three overtime losses).

Cooper had a warning for people counting out the Bolts as the playoffs approach.

“This exact conversation was going on last year and we went tot he finals," Cooper said. "They're two different animals (post-season and regular season). Our big thing is getting into the playoffs. That’s our goal right now. Of course. would we like to be hitting on all cylinders? Naturally. All coaches would like that. For us, our compete is there. We went to the bitter end."

The Bolts now travel to Ottawa to face the Senators on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

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