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)

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.

Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin takes a shot at Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy with right wing J.T. Brown, right, and right wing Ryan Callahan waiting for the result during the first period Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. (Associated Press)

Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin takes a shot at Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy with right wing J.T. Brown, right, and right wing Ryan Callahan waiting for the result during the first period Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. (Associated Press)

Lightning lacks spark in 3-1 loss to Kings (w/video) 12/06/15 [Last modified: Monday, December 7, 2015 7:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Storm routs Cleveland

    Storm

    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Former closer Sergio Romo acquired from Dodgers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays made a move to help the bullpen Saturday night when they acquired RHP Sergio Romo, who had been designated for assignment last week by the Dodgers.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (23) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 7, 2017.
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. backs wife's "not worth risk'' opinion on Daytona

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Saturday defended his wife's Twitter post — and blamed himself for putting her in a position where she believed she had to speak out and upset some of his fans.

    Amy Earnhardt worries about Dale Jr.’s concussions.