Thursday, June 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning lacks spark in 3-1 loss to Kings (w/video)

LOS ANGELES - One day after escaping a serious eye injury, goalie Ben Bishop lobbied to play Sunday night against the Kings.

Unfortunately for the Lightning, Bishop got his wish.

Bishop was scheduled to serve as backup, but Andrei Vasilevskiy was pulled after allowing two goals in 10 shots.

"We were just looking for that spark," coach Jon Cooper said.

That spark never came in a 3-1 loss to the Kings at the sold-out Staples Center. Tampa Bay snapped a two-game winning streak, squandering a chance for its first three-game sweep on a west-coast trip since 1993.

"I think if you go on the trip saying you're going to get four out of six points heading home, I think we'd be happy," center Tyler Johnson said. "But for us to get those first two wins and (Sunday) not necessarily playing our 'A' game, I think that's a little disappointing. That kind of hinders the good mentality of the trip."

The Lightning (13-12-3) might have came home with six points had it not been for the stunningly prolonged scoring - and power play - slump. Tampa Bay went 0-for-6 on the power play with four combined shots, including zero on 1 minute, 10 seconds of a 5-on-3 in the second period.

"Pretty atrocious," Johnson said.

"Frustrating," said captain Steven Stamkos, who was a minus-3 and held without a shot. "We have the talent to do it, it's just execution."

The Lightning was held to one goal or fewer for the 10th time in 27 games, the 16th time with two or fewer. That made for a very small margin for error for Vasilevskiy, who was making his first start since Nov. 27. Vasilevskiy gave up a back-breaking, go-ahead goal 39 seconds into the second - just 12 seconds after Brian Boyle had tied the game. Cooper replaced Vasilevskiy with Bishop, who had taken a stick to his right eye Saturday in San Jose, leaving with only a cut. Bishop said he felt good Sunday, with no vision issues or pain.

"Obviously not how I want to go in, somebody's pulled," Bishop said. "I tried to go out there and give the team a chance to win."

The Kings would effectively put it away later in the second with a goal by Milan Lucic, who beat Valtteri Filppula up the middle on a rush. Bishop played well to keep the Lightning close, including a huge breakaway save on Tanner Pearson midway through the third. But it wasn't enough. Center Tyler Johnson returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury Nov. 27, but had a quiet night with zero shots. "I need to play better," he said.

The Lightning returns home, but won't play again until Thursday against Ottawa.

Comments
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final last season, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

The Tampa Bay Lightning will announce their full 2018-19 schedule on Thursday, but the league announced each home opener Wednesday, with Tampa Bay playing host to the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Oct. 6.The Lightning will know their ...
Published: 06/20/18
Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Victor Hedman is talking from a hotel room in Las Vegas and admits he's a little jet-lagged."Actually, very jet-lagged," Hedman says.That's what happens when you take a flight from Sweden to the party capital of the world.But he knows exactly what he...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

The Ottawa Senators traded winger Mike Hoffman on Tuesday, hoping to solve an ugly off-ice issue involving star defenseman Erik Karlsson and his wife. The Senators sent Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks, who then dealt him to the Florida Panthers. All t...
Published: 06/19/18
Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Thanks, Vegas. That’s what NHL general managers are saying this offseason after the Stanley Cup Final run of the expansion Golden Knights contributed to what’s expected to be a healthy increase for the salary cap. With elite center John Tavares, No. ...
Published: 06/19/18
Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz abruptly stepped down as coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday after failing to agree to terms on a new contract, a stunning move that left the newly minted Stanley Cup champions without a coach with the draft later this week and wit...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

TAMPA — The Lightning will open its seven-game preseason schedule at home with a 7:30 p.m.  game Sept. 18 against the Carolina Hurricane, the team announced Thursday.That is one of three home games the Lightning will play in a preseason sc...
Published: 06/14/18
Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Sixteen months after acquiring Peter Budaj from the Kings, the Lightning today returned the veteran goaltender to Los Angeles.The Lightning traded Budaj for forward Andy Andreoff, general manager Steve Yzerman announced in a news release.Andreoff, 27...
Published: 06/13/18
Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

This past season didn't end the way Lightning fans might have hoped, but that's no reason to lose hope.In fact, oddsmakers are more bullish on Tampa Bay than any team in the NHL for next season.According to at least one sports betting site, the ...
Published: 06/08/18