NEW YORK — The frustration over the Lightning's road woes is beginning to bubble to the surface.
After Sunday night's 5-1 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden that finished an 0-3 road trip and dropped Tampa Bay to 1-4 on the road, center Steven Stamkos called the record away from home "embarrassing" and "not acceptable."
"We're known as a team that can't win on the road right now," he said. "It's embarrassing … especially (Sunday's) effort. We couldn't even make a pass out there.
"We've got to find a way. I feel like we keep saying that every time. We're a lot better team than we're playing on the road."
It was the fourth straight loss for the Lightning (6-5-0), which got more bad news when left wing Ryan Malone sustained a lower-body injury during the team's usual pregame kick-around with a soccer ball and missed the game.
Other than Vinny Lecavalier's fifth goal of the season and Alex Killorn's assist in his NHL debut, nothing much went right.
Tampa Bay was outshot 32-20, including only four shots in a third period that began with the Rangers up 3-1 and coach Guy Boucher called "as bad as we've played all year."
"Total impatience," he said.
"Not smart, trying to cheat and find ways that don't exist."
But it didn't stop there.
The Lightning fell behind 31 seconds into the game on a shot that deflected in off Carl Hagelin's arm. It was down 2-0 when Ryan Callahan scored on a breakaway after a turnover by defenseman Matt Carle.
Tampa Bay was outshot 15-6 in the first. It had just two shots over the final 11:06, and it failed to convert on four odd-man rushes, including Lecavalier's breakaway in which the puck rolled off his stick as he tried to deke goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
"We had our chance in the first period, and we didn't score. And after that, it was downhill," Stamkos said. "We dug ourselves in a hole by not playing properly."
Then there was goalie Mathieu Garon, who was pulled 9:58 into the second after allowing three goals on 19 shots. That included Hagelin's second goal, which went through the legs of the badly offbalance goalie for a 3-0 lead.
The bottom line with the Lightning since the start of last season: 30-15-2 at home (including 5-1-0 this season), 14-26-6 on the road.
"I don't think anybody thinks about we're going to lose because we couldn't win last year on the road," Stamkos said. "It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with the guys in this room."
"Hope plays, blind passes and trying to get breakaways and two-on-ones," Boucher said, "those things that show up when you play the right way and not when you cheat.
"This one," he added, "was not good."
First Period—1, N.Y. Rangers, Hagelin 2 (Nash, Girardi), :31. 2, N.Y. Rangers, Callahan 3, 15:13. Penalties—Crombeen, TB (high-sticking), 11:16; Thompson, TB (holding), 15:42.
Second Period—3, N.Y. Rangers, Hagelin 3 (Staal), 9:58. 4, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 5 (Hedman, Killorn), 14:42. Penalties—Ta.Pyatt, NYR (high-sticking), 4:10; Killorn, TB (high-sticking), 12:04.
Third Period—5, N.Y. Rangers, Asham 1 (McDonagh), 12:22. 6, N.Y. Rangers, Nash 3 (Hagelin, Girardi), 19:51. Penalties—Kreider, NYR (hooking), 17:49. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 6-10-4—20. N.Y. Rangers 15-8-9—32. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 0 of 2; N.Y. Rangers 0 of 3. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Garon 1-2-0 (19 shots-16 saves), Lindback (9:58 second, 13-11). N.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 5-5-0 (20-19). A—17,200 (17,200).