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.
First Period—None. Penalties—Tropp, Clm (high-sticking), 5:16.
Second Period—1, Columbus, Foligno 7 (Johansen), 4:30. Penalties—Tampa Bay bench, served by Purcell (too many men), 11:15.
Third Period—None. Penalties—J.Johnson, Clm (tripping), 15:14. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 10-6-10—26. Columbus 4-13-4—21. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 0 of 2; Columbus 0 of 1. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Bishop 14-5-1 (21 shots-20 saves). Columbus, Bobrovsky 10-11-2 (18-18), McElhinney (4:13 third, 8-8). A—10,223 (18,144). T—2:16. Referees—Mike Hasenfratz, Marc Joannette. Linesmen—Lonnie Cameron, Scott Driscoll.