Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's home streak ends against Penguins

TAMPA — Thinking back on it, Lightning right wing Richard Panik said he should have shot high on Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Instead, with one second left in the second period, Panik, alone in the slot, tried to go five hole and Fleury made the save.

"I tried to shoot it right away," Panik said. "Too bad it didn't go in."

That was the story of the Lightning's 3-0 loss Friday in front of an announced crowd of 19,065 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Tampa Bay had some Grade A chances — not enough as it was outshot 29-21 and had just six shots in the third period — but enough that the inability to finish was why its seven-game home winning streak was stopped and Pittsburgh has now beaten the Lightning eight straight.

"He played great," Tampa Bay wing J.T. Brown said of Fleury, who got his third shutout of the season and 26th of his career. "He didn't let in any goals, so you have to give him credit."

But the Lightning (16-9-1) has to take some blame.

Panik had Fleury at his mercy. So did Brown from in front of the net, and Alex Killorn from the side. Nikita Kucherov had a partial breakaway. Fleury stopped them all to preserve a 1-0 lead through the second period.

The Penguins struck when given the chance.

Chris Kunitz's first-period goal on a high wrist shot came off a pass from Sidney Crosby but also after Panik slowed down on the backcheck, freeing Kunitz. Brandon Sutter scored 8:27 into the third period with a power-play goal from the side of the net off the leg of Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman.

Kunitz's empty-net goal was just window dressing.

"I was not displeased with the way we played," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "You have to give them a little credit. They dictated a little bit of what went on with us. … I didn't really think it was a 3-0 hockey game, to be honest."

The Lightning did some good things.

Rookies Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Panik did a solid job holding down Crosby's line. Goalie Ben Bishop was solid with 26 saves, and Brown had four shots, three hits and two takeaways.

But Tampa Bay's defensemen did not get enough shots to the net, and the Penguins defense did well limiting the Lightning to one shot before a puck was cleared.

Then there were the missed chances, all with low shots, a much tougher way to beat a butterfly goalie than high.

"Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't," Brown said.

"But we're putting ourselves in position to make those plays. It'll come."

Just not against the Penguins.

 

Penguins 1 0 2 3
Lightning 0 0 0 0
Penguins 1 0 2 3
Lightning 0 0 0 0

 

First Period1, Pittsburgh, Kunitz 12 (Crosby, Letang), 6:53. PenaltiesMalkin, Pit (illegal stick), 7:11; Tyrell, TB (high-sticking), 14:05.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesMalkin, Pit (high-sticking), 4:11; Killorn, TB (tripping), 5:04; Neal, Pit (hooking), 19:37.

Third Period2, Pittsburgh, Sutter 5 (Crosby, Jokinen), 8:27 (pp). 3, Pittsburgh, Kunitz 13 (Malkin, Crosby), 18:17 (en). PenaltiesBarberio, TB (delay of game), 6:37; Adams, Pit, game misconduct, 20:00. Shots on GoalPittsburgh 5-11-13—29. Tampa Bay 7-8-6—21. Power-play opportunitiesPittsburgh 1 of 3; Tampa Bay 0 of 3. GoaliesPittsburgh, Fleury 14-7-1 (21 shots-21 saves). Tampa Bay, Bishop 14-4-1 (28-26). A19,065 (19,204). T2:23. Referees—Tim Peel, Kyle Rehman. LinesmenKiel Murchison, Jonny Murray.

 
Comments
Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

ST. LOUIS — This showdown was supposed to be about the best team in the East versus the best in the West. In reality, the Lightning’s 3-0 win over the Blues on Tuesday night pretty much came down to this:Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalies ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Blues

Andrei Vasilevskiy might have made the save of the year. With the Lightning leading by one midway through the second, an Alex Steen dump-in took a wild carom off the boards. Vasilevskiiy somehow sprawled out for a right-toe save. Then, on his back, V...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning face Blues in showdown between NHL’s top two teams

Lightning face Blues in showdown between NHL’s top two teams

The Lightning's west coast trip will start with a bang tonight in St. Louis.Tonight's game will pit the top two teams in the NHL, with Tampa Bay (21-6-2) atop the Eastern Conference, the Blues (21-8-2) the No. 1 team in the West.Fittingly, an NBCSN-a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
How Lightning coach Jon Cooper reinvented himself

How Lightning coach Jon Cooper reinvented himself

BRANDON — The best team in town had just wrapped up practice. The Lightning had a plane to catch, to St. Louis, where Tuesday in St. Louis begins a four-city road trip that ends at expansion Las Vegas, exclusive engagement, one show a night, unless y...
Published: 12/11/17
All boxes checked on Lightning home stand sweep; now, back to the road

All boxes checked on Lightning home stand sweep; now, back to the road

TAMPA — You don’t often see a coach making shadow puppets on the wall with his hands at the start of his postgame news conference, but that’s where the Lightning is these days after sweeping a four-game home stand with Saturday night’s 4-3 overtime v...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated game story: Lightning’s Brayden Point credits luck, opportunity for OT winner vs. Jets

Updated game story: Lightning’s Brayden Point credits luck, opportunity for OT winner vs. Jets

TAMPA — His coach says he plays every game as if he doesn’t play his best, he’s going to be sent down. That is not the case with Brayden Point, but who doesn’t want that kind of effort from a second-year player who has more than established himself i...
Published: 12/09/17

Brayden Point scores in OT to give Lightning win over Jets

TAMPA — The Jets saw Saturday’s game against the Lightning as a benchmark game, a way to measure themselves against the NHL’s top team. The Lightning had circled the game, the last of a four-game home stand."It’s going to be a big test for us," Light...
Published: 12/09/17
Lightning journal: Power-play players make me look good, Jon Cooper says

Lightning journal: Power-play players make me look good, Jon Cooper says

TAMPA — How about that Lightning power play."Coaching," coach Jon Cooper said before Saturday’s game with the Jets.He was kidding."You always look like a good coach when you can throw (Nikita) Kucherov and (Steven) Stamkos and (Victor) Hedman over th...
Published: 12/09/17

Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Saturday’s Lightning-Jets game

The game drew the hockey world’s attention because it matched the NHL’s top team against a rising team in the West. It was refreshing to see both treat it as more than just another game. The Jets saw a chance to measure themselves against the top tea...
Published: 12/09/17
Attitude adjusted, Cory Conacher focused on sticking with Lightning

Attitude adjusted, Cory Conacher focused on sticking with Lightning

TAMPA — When Cory Conacher was called up a little over a week ago, it looked like it might be for just a one-game cameo.Center Cedric Paquette had been suspended for one game for boarding, and the Lightning, otherwise healthy up front, needed a fill-...
Published: 12/09/17