Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Firing blanks in shootout, on power play costs Tampa Bay Lightning in loss to Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. — The easy story of the Lightning's 2-1 loss to the Hurricanes is another shootout failure.

It's been an annoyance since last season, when Tampa Bay lost 10 of 13 of the tiebreaking gimmicks. Coach Rick Tocchet called it "a little mental right now."

But the real cause of Tuesday night's frustration at the RBC Center, where the Lightning has lost seven straight, was on display well before. Missed chances. Lots of them.

From a 1-for-8 power play to center Steven Stamkos hitting the crossbar with the score tied in the third period to Steve Downie missing the net from in front during a late third-period power play, Tampa Bay (0-1-1) could not finish at crucial moments.

"Well, yeah," Tocchet said. "That's why in practice we're on guys to, when you're in front of the net, bear down, put two hands on the stick and bury the puck."

"It's just not coming together right now," Stamkos said.

"But I feel better where we're going as a team," right wing Marty St. Louis said. "We played hard. We keep playing like that, I like our chances."

The Lightning, which got a point for a regulation tie, had a 30-28 shot advantage, the second straight game it has outshot an opponent. Neutral- and defensive-zone coverages also tightened considerably.

Goalie Mike Smith was strong, though he gave away two pucks that resulted in scoring chances and took a second-period roughing penalty by putting Stephane Yelle in a headlock after Yelle bumped him behind the net.

But in total, Tocchet said, "I'll take this every time. Guys worked their (butts) off."

Ryan Malone scored on a five-on-three power play six minutes into the second to make the score 1-1. But the unit that seemed so strong in preseason is 2-for-11 and against Carolina had just nine shots in 13:02 of power-play time.

"There were times we couldn't even get the puck in the zone to set up," Stamkos said.

Credit the Hurricanes, who aggressively forechecked, but as St. Louis said, "We didn't win enough battles to retrieve pucks. They did a good job at that and that's why pucks got back out."

"We've got to get better at puck possession," Tocchet said.

And shootouts. St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier misfired while Smith stopped one of three shots.

"It's in our mind," Tocchet said. "We lost a lot last year and the second game of the year we're right back at it. But it's one of those things where you have to stick with it; free your mind, I guess."

And bury the puck.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at

Hurricanes 1 0 0 0 2
Lightning 0 1 0 0 1
Hurricanes win shootout 2-0

First Period1, Carolina, Jokinen 1 (Pitkanen, C.Ward), 13:12 (pp). PenaltiesKonopka, TB, major (fighting), 8:04; Conboy, Car, major (fighting), 8:04; Corvo, Car (cross-checking), 9:25; Lecavalier, TB (hooking), 11:56; Staal, Car (interference), 20:00.

Second Period2, Tampa Bay, Malone 1 (Stamkos, St. Louis), 6:00 (pp). PenaltiesSamsonov, Car (interference), 4:02; Cullen, Car (hooking), 4:43; Veilleux, TB (high-sticking), 7:01; Smith, TB, served by Downie (roughing), 9:58; Pitkanen, Car (interference, unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:57; Staal, Car (hooking), 19:35; Hedman, TB (hooking), 19:57.

Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesLaRose, Car (goaltender interference), 14:39.

OvertimeNone. PenaltiesHale, TB (tripping), 4:50.

ShootoutTampa Bay 0 (St. Louis NG, Lecavalier NG), Carolina 2 (Samsonov G, Jokinen NG, Ruutu G). Shots on GoalTampa Bay 11-9-6-4—30. Carolina 14-7-5-2—28. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 1 of 8; Carolina 1 of 5. GoaliesTampa Bay, Smith 0-1-1 (28 shots-27 saves). Carolina, C.Ward 1-2-0 (30-29). A16,186 (18,680). T2:38. Referees—Paul Devorski, Justin St. Pierre. LinesmenDerek Amell, Anthony Sericolo.

Hurricanes 2

Lightning 1


Firing blanks in shootout, on power play costs Tampa Bay Lightning in loss to Carolina Hurricanes 10/06/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 11:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Matt Baker's AP Top 25 college football ballot


    Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher still thinks he can have a good team. Maybe he's right.

  2. My AP Top 25 ballot: FSU out, USF, Florida Gators back in


    Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher still thinks he can have a good team, as I wrote in today's Tampa Bay Times. Maybe he's right.

  3. Road to Atlanta, Week 4



    Central Florida defensive lineman Tony Guerad (93) gestures in front of teammate Jamiyus Pittman, right, and Maryland offensive lineman Damian Prince, left, after tackling Maryland running back Ty Johnson and forcing a punt on fourth down in the first half of an NCAA college football game in College Park, Md., Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) MDPS104
  4. Trump tweets and NFL response escalate drama of Sunday games


    The owners of the Baltimore Ravens, the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and other teams on Sunday joined a chorus of NFL executives criticizing President Donald Trump's suggestion that they fire players who kneel for the national anthem.

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  5. New Rowdie Hunter Gorskie nets game's lone goal


    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Gorskie enjoyed a smashing Tampa Bay debut, scoring the lone goal and getting in one of many crucial second-half clearances as the Rowdies held off visiting Charlotte 1-0 before an announced 7,786 at Al Lang Stadium.

    The Tampa Bay Rowdies Hunter Gorskie (27) celebrates a first half goal against the Charlotte Independence at Al Lang Field Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 in St. Petersburg. Photo by Matt May/Tampa Bay Rowdies