Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

For Lightning, a hard loss

TAMPA — Though the Lightning and Kings met Saturday for the only time this season, with the gritty, chippy way they played, you would have thought they were division rivals.

But for Tampa Bay, the biggest blow of the hard-hitting — and heartbreaking — 2-1 shootout loss was delivered with two minutes left in overtime, when a potential winning goal by Andrej Meszaros was disallowed due to goalie interference. Given new life, the Kings handed the Lightning its fifth shootout loss in six tries, as center Anze Kopitar was the only one of six shooters to score.

To the Lightning, the loss likely felt like a punch in the gut.

"A terrible call," goalie Antero Niittymaki said of the overtime ruling. "We won that game. I don't know what happened. … It's a terrible feeling. It's nothing to do with you or your teammates. It's something you can't control. … We're all human. We all make mistakes."

The Lightning (7-4-6) had already celebrated after Meszaros, from the blue line, ripped his shot, which appeared to get deflected past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. But after referee Frederick L'Ecuyer, positioned behind the net, called it a goal, he consulted with the other officials and then disallowed it, saying Lightning center Paul Szczechura interfered with Quick, who was at the top of the crease.

Szczechura said he was trying to screen Quick but was pushed into him by Kings defenseman Sean O'Donnell.

"I'm going to try to avoid (Quick) at all costs if I can, but obviously I couldn't get out of the way," Szczechura said. "It's a tough break for us."

Coach Rick Tocchet said referees explained it to him as "incidental contact." The play wasn't reviewable, and NHL referee supervisor Don Koharski, who was at the game, said, "In the eyes of the referee (L'Ecuyer), the goaltender was clearly interfered with by the attacking player."

The Lightning had attacked throughout the game and played better overall than it did in its Thursday shootout win over the Wild. It got another stellar effort from Niittymaki, who stopped 29 shots, including a nifty glove save on a shot by Kopitar near the crease just more than a minute into the second period.

They even got another clutch goal by Ryan Malone, who scored a crafty wraparound on a rebound with 8:21 left in regulation for his 12th of the season.

But unlike Thursday, when a tying goal by Malone in regulation spurred the Lightning's first shootout win, all three Tampa Bay shooters (Vinny Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos and Alex Tanguay) missed their shootout attempts.

Kings coach Terry Murray pointed out that "not one player on our bench moved" after Meszaros scored, saying they knew "that there was going to be a conversation about it." When the goal was disallowed, many of the 16,612 at the St. Pete Times Forum joined in a chorus of boos.

"I can't give you an impartial opinion, but when I look at it, in my experience it was the correct call," Murray said. "O'Donnell did not cross-check (Szczechura ); he did not push him. There has to be an attempt by the player to stop. … It's the correct call, in my view of it."

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]es.com

Kings 0 0 1 0 2
Lightning 0 0 1 0 1
Kings win shootout 1-0

First Period—None. PenaltiesHandzus, LA (charging), 8:20; Simmonds, LA (roughing), 8:20; Malone, TB (roughing), 8:20; Ivanans, LA, major (fighting), 11:25; Konopka, TB, major (fighting), 11:25; Simmonds, LA (roughing), 17:39; Malone, TB (hooking), 18:57.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesOhlund, TB (cross-checking), 3:06; Stamkos, TB (cross-checking), 15:41; Doughty, LA (tripping), 17:52.

Third Period1, Los Angeles, Doughty 4 (Kopitar, Smyth), 7:20 (pp). 2, Tampa Bay, Malone 12 (Hale, Stamkos), 11:39. PenaltiesSmyth, LA (slashing), :25; Greene, LA (roughing), 5:41; Simmonds, LA, misconduct, 5:41; Konopka, TB, misconduct, 5:41; Downie, TB (roughing), 5:41; Krajicek, TB (tripping), 6:01; Brown, LA (hooking), 8:06.

OvertimeNone. PenaltiesNone.

ShootoutLos Angeles 1 (Kopitar G, Johnson NG, Brown NG), Tampa Bay 0 (Lecavalier NG, Stamkos NG, Tanguay NG). Shots on GoalLos Angeles 7-11-10-2—30. Tampa Bay 8-10-9-2—29. Power-play opportunitiesLos Angeles 1 of 4; Tampa Bay 0 of 5. GoaliesLos Angeles, J.Quick 11-6-2 (29 shots-28 saves). Tampa Bay, Niittymaki 5-1-3 (30-29). A16,612 (19,758).

Kings 2

Lightning 1

shootout

For Lightning, a hard loss 11/14/09 [Last modified: Sunday, November 15, 2009 12:28am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fennelly: Longtime Bucs fans, we want to hear from you

    Blogs

    Calling all Bucs fans! Calling all Bucs fans!

    Jameis Winston is pressured by Chandler Jones during the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
  2. A punter is the state's only first-team, midseason All-American

    Blogs

    Here's another indictment of how mediocre the state's college football season has become.

  3. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay

    Footballpreps

    1. Armwood (7-0)

    Up next: vs. Brandon

    Armwood quarterback Devin Black (7) shakes hands with Plant defensive back Keon King (26) after the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. The Hawks beat the Panthers 27-7.
  4. Today he secures Bucs games; 30 years ago he played in them

    Bucs

    TAMPA —- Whenever the Bucs play a home game, Sankar Montoute is on hand to supervise more than 50 officers from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on duty at Raymond James Stadium.

    Sankar Montoute, who oversees Homeland Security for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, was a replacement player for the Bucs during the 1987 strike. 
Montoute, who had a sack and interception in the same NFL game, oversees the 50-plus officers who work at Bucs games, most of whom have no idea he played. [Times files (1987)]
  5. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Looking back at what went wrong

    Bucs

    In his latest Cannon Fodder podcast, Greg Auman says Monday brought good news relating to Jameis Winston's shoulder injury.

    A frustrated Mike Evans sits on the bench during the second half of the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Arizona. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]