The Tampa Bay Lightning lost another game that they should have won, falling 4-3 to the Florida Panthers. Even though they played their second game in just as many nights there was no reason come out flat since they didn’t put much effort into the match the night before.
Panther’s Jason Garrison’s goal sent the Lightning packing with 16 seconds remaining in overtime. Just like that the Lightning have lost the past 6 of 7 games.
David Booth, Niclas Bergfors, and Ryan Carter were the other scorers for Florida. Carter and Bergfors made the game 3-1 with less than 15 minutes left in the third period.
Give the Lightning credit for putting on the press and tying the game up in the third period after being down 3-1, but for most of the game they coasted and only put on a sustained effort for 20 minutes of a game that’s played for 60.
The goals for the Lightning came from Simon Gagne, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos.
Lecavalier made the game 3-2 on a 5-on-3 powerplay with 7:25 left in the game and Gagne put back a nifty rebound of Clemmenson’s back to tie the game with 2:05 left in the third.
Mike Smith ended the game with 23 saves and fielded the blame for the team, “For me, I should have made a save here or there and it’s a win under our belt.”
Smith might have seen it that way, but it was concerted lack of effort that did the Lightning in.
With the way that the Lightning are playing as a team as of right now, they are not a Stanley Cup contender. Losing two games in a row is bad, but these were two games against teams on the outside of the playoff picture with no hope of getting into the top eight. Also, it was Panther’s backup Scott Clemmenson finishing the night with 36 saves, not Tomas Vokoun.
Secondary and tertiary scoring is needed to win games and that isn’t happening for the Bolts. Dominic Moore, Sean Bergenheim, Simon Gagne, and Teddy Purcell each only have one goal in the six games played in March. With only less than two months until the playoffs, the Bolts need these guys to get rolling again.
The Lightning showed that they can play with the best of them earlier in the season. GM Steve Yzerman fielded a team that has the scoring depth, leadership, and talent to go far. The problem is they’re coming apart at the wrong time. Just as the Washington Capitals are hitting their stride and finding a way to win close games, the Lightning suddenly forgot how.
About the Author
Written by Christopher Tran
New York transplant from California, and an avid blogger and sports fan. As he tends to do every year, he picks an Eastern Conference NHL team to root for until they become too good and he fears for his team out west. If you want to talk hockey with me, feel free to send a line.