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)

Jets' late goal sinks Lightning

TAMPA — Center Steven Stamkos figures it will take 16 victories in the Lightning's final 24 games to make the playoffs — maybe 15, maybe 17.

Whatever, "We have to think there are a number of points that it's going to take to be in the playoffs," he said, "or we're going to be out quick."

Such talk, unthinkable during a 6-1-0 start, took on a dour sense of urgency after Thursday night's 2-1 loss to the Jets in front of a grumbly sellout crowd of 19,204 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

It was the seventh loss in nine games for the Lightning (10-13-1), which at the halfway mark of the lockout-shortened 48-game season is six points behind the first-place Hurricanes in the Southeast Division and five behind the Ran­gers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Worse, Carolina has a game in hand on Tampa Bay, New York has two, and the Lightning is two points from the bottom of the conference.

It also fell to 1-8-1 in one-goal games.

So much for building momentum off Tuesday's 5-2 win at New Jersey.

But that's what happens when you can't put away prime scoring chances, Anders Lindback allows two soft goals and Marty St. Louis loses a puck battle that leads to Bryan Little's goal with 4:08 left in the third that breaks a 1-1 tie.

"Yup, it's a tall order," coach Guy Boucher said of a playoff spot. "But we're in the business of doing the impossible, and that's what it's going to have to be."

Stamkos got his league-best 18th goal to tie the score 6:57 into the third. But for the second straight 2-1 loss at home (Feb. 26 to the Sabres), the Lightning could not convert its chances.

Al Montoya made 28 saves, but the Lightning was 0-for-5 on the power play, including a second-period, two-minute five-on-three, Montoya diving to glove Vinny Lecavalier's point-blank shot.

Matt Carle and Ondrej Palat hit posts in the third period.

"We missed incredible, quality scoring chances, and it's biting us," Boucher said. "When you get 15 scoring chances to nine, you're supposed to win the game."

That is if your defense and goaltending are sound.

The Lightning had a season-high 14 giveaways, Lindback gave too much shortside room on Alex Tangradi's first-period goal and Little's goal squirted under him.

"A quick, good shot on the first one. I just couldn't get over there," Lindback said. "The other, I gave too much space. I tried to stay compact, and it went in. It's unfortunate."

So was St. Louis' defense on Little in a defensive zone corner — "I gave the outer corner, and it goes in the net," he said — and Brian Lee and Nate Thompson could have done a better job against Kyle Wellwood, whose hard work along the boards led to Tangradi's goal.

Cleary, not what a playoff push is supposed to look like.

"It didn't turn out the way I expected," St. Louis said of the season. "No, not at all."

There's still time to turn things around — but not much.

Jets 1 0 1 2
Lightning 0 0 1 1
Jets 1 0 1 2
Lightning 0 0 1 1

First Period1, Winnipeg, Tangradi 1, 10:05. PenaltiesKane, Wpg (high-sticking), 11:45.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesStuart, Wpg, major (fighting), :19; Crombeen, TB, major (fighting), :19; Jokinen, Wpg (goaltender interference), 3:05; Stuart, Wpg (high-sticking), 7:57; Postma, Wpg (interference), 7:57; Hedman, TB (tripping), 16:30; Brewer, TB (hooking), 17:40.

Third Period2, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 18 (St. Louis, Malone), 6:57. 3, Winnipeg, Little 4 (Ladd), 15:52. PenaltiesWinnipeg bench, served by Jokinen (too many men), :55. Shots on GoalWinnipeg 13-7-8—28. Tampa Bay 12-6-11—29. Power-play opportunitiesWinnipeg 0 of 2; Tampa Bay 0 of 5. GoaliesWinnipeg, Montoya 3-0-0 (29 shots-28 saves). Tampa Bay, Lindback 8-6-1 (28-26). A19,204 (19,204).

Jets' late goal sinks Lightning 03/07/13 [Last modified: Friday, March 8, 2013 12:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE

    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.