Sunday, January 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning blanked again, falls to Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Marty St. Louis sat at his locker Tuesday, still in his gear, head in his hands.

When he finally addressed the Lightning's ugly 1-0 loss to the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena, the captain quietly said, "If you're not (mad), frustrated, something is wrong with you right now."

Tampa Bay (16-10-1) has been shut out in two straight games and three of its past five in which it is 2-2-1. Discounting Tyler Johnson's empty-net goal in the Nov. 27 win over the Flyers, the team has not scored in 135 minutes.

On the road, where the Lightning is on a 0-4-1 streak, it has not scored in 137:13, going back to the third period of a Nov. 21 loss to the Sharks.

The team record for being shut out on the road is 157:29 in March 1996.

"Really concerned," coach Jon Cooper said. "Our commitment to go to those areas you need to score is not there. It's just not. We've got a bunch of players who have played in this league for a long time and they've got to take us there."

The Lightning needed a goal such as was scored 4:30 into the second period by Nick Foligno. While in the slot, he pulled the puck and his stick through his legs and fired a forehand past goalie Ben Bishop.

But that goal doesn't happen if Tampa Bay's Valtteri Filppula isn't pickpocketed in the defensive zone by Ryan Johansen.

"He poke-checked it away from me," Filppula said. "It was a really nice goal but that's the kind of turnover you're not supposed to have. That's on me."

The offensive woes were worse. Passes were off target which made Columbus' forecheck more effective.

St. Louis lamented the loss of puck battles. The Lightning had a 26-21 shot advantage but was outshot 13-6 in the second period when, as Cooper said, "They came out charging and we had zero answer."

The power play was 0-for-2 with just two shots and failed late in the third period, running its streak of futility to 4-for-46.

"Don't even get a setup," St. Louis said. "It's embarrassing."

Added Filppula: "I feel like maybe we're holding the stick a little too hard and not as relaxed as you want to play."

Finally there were Blue Jackets goalies Sergei Bobrovsky and Curtis McElhinney, who entered 6:13 into the third when Bobrovsky was injured stopping J.T. Brown's breakaway.

McElhinney's glove save on St. Louis in-close backhand with 1:23 left also was a game saver.

"Maybe I should have gone around him," St. Louis said. "I don't know. I'm replaying this 15 times already in my head. I just didn't get it done."

That is frustration talking.

Blue Jackets0101
Lightning0000

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesTropp, Clm (high-sticking), 5:16.

Second Period1, Columbus, Foligno 7 (Johansen), 4:30. PenaltiesTampa Bay bench, served by Purcell (too many men), 11:15.

Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesJ.Johnson, Clm (tripping), 15:14. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 10-6-10—26. Columbus 4-13-4—21. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 2; Columbus 0 of 1. GoaliesTampa Bay, Bishop 14-5-1 (21 shots-20 saves). Columbus, Bobrovsky 10-11-2 (18-18), McElhinney (4:13 third, 8-8). A10,223 (18,144). T2:16. Referees—Mike Hasenfratz, Marc Joannette. LinesmenLonnie Cameron, Scott Driscoll.

Comments
What’s gone wrong with the Lightning?

What’s gone wrong with the Lightning?

It didn't take the sound of a door slamming in the dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated. Tampa Bay felt like it worked hard – at least, harder than Thursday's listless loss to Vegas – yet dropped anothe...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning falls to Wild, its fifth loss in seven games

Lightning falls to Wild, its fifth loss in seven games

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Lightning said all the right things about needing to look in the mirror and do some soul-searching during its recent funk. Veterans said they had to lead the way. Coach Jon Cooper believed this eight-game trip would "show us wha...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Mikhail Sergachev gets thrown into the fire for Lightning

Mikhail Sergachev gets thrown into the fire for Lightning

ST. PAUL, Minn. — For the first 20-plus games this season, Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness knew "the look" was coming.The other team’s top line would jump over the boards and Tampa Bay rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev would peek over at Bow...
Published: 01/20/18
Missing the Olympics a missed opportunity (and misstep) for NHL?

Missing the Olympics a missed opportunity (and misstep) for NHL?

One week from today, Tampa will be the center of the hockey world.The All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. Players will smile for the cameras. They'll put on a fantastic show. Maybe they'll catch a bead or two from a Gasparilla parade.But you ...
Published: 01/20/18
Andrei Vasilevskiy: ‘I have to be better’

Andrei Vasilevskiy: ‘I have to be better’

The rest of the Lightning players had already left the ice Friday afternoon, heading into the dressing room for a quick change before the team's charter flight to Minnesota.But goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, 23, stayed on late, facing about 15 minutes mo...
Published: 01/20/18
Fennelly: Lightning needs a reset on the road … pronto

Fennelly: Lightning needs a reset on the road … pronto

TAMPA — Vegas has left the building.Wasn't the Lightning just arranging place settings for next weekend's NHL All-Star Game party?With that in mind, I headed to the home dressing room at Amalie Arena late Thursday after the Lightning was manhan...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
Golden Knights move within one point of Lightning for top spot in NHL

Golden Knights move within one point of Lightning for top spot in NHL

SUNRISE — Aaron Ekblad scored 40 seconds into overtime to lift the Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the Golden Knights on Friday, spoiling Vegas coach Gerard Gallant’s return to Florida. By gaining a point, Vegas moved within one point of the Lightning...
Published: 01/19/18
Time for Lightning leaders to snap team out of funk

Time for Lightning leaders to snap team out of funk

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Steven Stamkos sat at his stall in a near-empty Lightning dressing room Thursday and did what captains often do:He shouldered some blame for the Lightning's listless 4-1 loss to Vegas."As a leader, I've got to be a lot better,...
Published: 01/19/18
Why I hate the NHL All-Star Game

Why I hate the NHL All-Star Game

TAMPA — The NHL All-Star Game is coming to town next weekend, reaffirming our community's ability to step into the breach when needed. We don't stop until we get the Winter Olympics. So, don't be surprised if those next Rays stadium plans ...
Published: 01/19/18
Steven Stamkos: ‘I have to be a lot better’

Steven Stamkos: ‘I have to be a lot better’

There was plenty of blame to go around after the Lightning's 4-1 loss to the Golden Knights Thursday night.This loss wasn't on one person, no question.But captain Steven Stamkos showed some leadership by shouldering some responsibility for the team's...
Published: 01/19/18