TAMPA — The Lightning tried hard to rally early in the third period, outshooting the Avalanche 7-0 in hopes of erasing a two-goal deficit Thursday.
That's when another bad bounce along the boards led to an easy goal against G Ben Bishop and basically ended its chances of another comeback victory.
"That killed it," D Anton Stralman said after a 4-0 loss.
It was nearly eight minutes into the period when F Joe Colborne carried the puck up the boards and fired it into the corner after crossing the blue line. Bishop left the net to handle the puck, but it bounced off the boards and onto the stick of F Andreas Martinsen, who easily scored into the vacated net.
"Bish did everything right there," coach Jon Cooper said.
It was the third fluky goal against Bishop during this season-opening four-game homestand. The first occurred opening night against the Red Wings when a dump-in from center ice hit a stanchion. The puck ricocheted toward Bishop, where it hit the blade of his stick and went in.
The second came Tuesday on a controversial shootout goal by Panthers F Vincent Trocheck.
"It's been a strange first three games," said Bishop, who has allowed 11 goals. "Just stick with it. Eventually it's going to even out. It's a little unfortunate, but it's a long year. You can't let it bother you too much."
KOEKKOEK GETS PLAYING TIME: D Slater Koekkoek was reassigned Wednesday to AHL Syracuse for the purpose of getting playing time after being a healthy scratch in the first three games. "Can't have a young guy sitting up there in the stands waiting for his chance when he has opportunities to play games, so this should never be taken as a demotion because it's not," Cooper said. Syracuse plays Friday at home against Utica and Saturday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. That keeps Koekkoek close to the Lightning as it begins a six-game trip through the Northeast on Saturday night at Ottawa. D Matt Taormina was recalled from Syracuse. Taormina played in 12 games with the Lightning over the past four seasons.
HAPPY 20th: Thursday marked the 20th anniversary of the first Lightning game played at what is now Amalie Arena, a 5-2 victory against the Rangers on Oct. 20, 1996. Lightning founder Phil Esposito and players from that team — Brian Bradley, Paul Ysebaert and Daren Puppa — participated in the ceremonial puck drop. Bradley scored the first goal in the new building.