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)

Lightning falls to Predators

NASHVILLE — Well, that was ugly.

But more than that, coach Jon Cooper said of the Lightning's 3-2 loss to the Predators on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena, "It was disgracefully embarrassing."

It was at least for the final two periods, as Tampa Bay, with a 2-0 first-period lead on a pair of goals by captain Marty St. Louis, seemed to lose its will to compete.

The Lightning was outshot 29-16 with just seven shots the last two periods. As St. Louis said, "Our battle level was very low."

Most problematic, though, was allowing three power-play goals, two in 71 seconds in the second period and Patric Hornqvist's winner with 6:04 left in the third off a scramble in front of the net.

"You can't give up three goals on the power play," goaltender Ben Bishop said. "It's unacceptable."

That's not quite the way the Lightning (33-21-5) wanted to come out of the Olympic break and start a season-closing stretch in which it plays 24 games in 46 days.

On a 2-5-0 streak and a 1-4-0 road streak, it fell to third in the tightly contested Atlantic Division.

"I love this team. We have a special group of guys," Cooper said. "We just, really, I'm a little bit shocked we did that."

Especially after St. Louis scored goals 26 and 27 of his season, one off a rebound of Ondrej Palat's backhand post shot and one on the power play for a 2-0 lead 9:13 into the game.

But Matt Cullen made it 2-1 with 7:55 left in the second period after Tampa Bay was called for too many men on the ice.

Roman Josi's scorching slap shot through a screen made it 2-2 with 6:44 left with Vlad Namestnikov in the penalty box on what seemed a phantom hooking call.

Hornqvist scored after Ryan Malone was called for hooking in the offensive zone, which nullified the last 10 seconds of a power play.

"The goalie is supposed to be your best penalty killer, so I'll take the blame for this," Bishop said. "I have to stop one of them."

Actually, he had little chance on any of the goals.

"On a couple of those penalty kills, we were guessing instead of being on the right side of the pucks," Cooper said. "We were trying to leave the zone early."

Add generally terrible passing, a season-low-tying 16 shots and what St. Louis called "horrendous" five-on-five play with little cycling of the puck to compensate for Nashville clogging passing lanes, and you have a team with little chance to win.

"That," Cooper said, "was a tough one to swallow."

Predators 0 2 1 3
Lightning 2 0 0 2
Predators 0 2 1 3
Lightning 2 0 0 2

First Period1, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 26 (Palat), 5:26. 2, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 27 (Kucherov, Purcell), 9:13 (pp). PenaltiesEllis, Nas (tripping), 8:43; Brown, TB (roughing), 10:29; Smith, Nas (delay of game), 19:26.

Second Period3, Nashville, Cullen 6 (Ellis, Smith), 12:05 (pp). 4, Nashville, Josi 9 (Weber), 13:16 (pp). PenaltiesBrewer, TB (holding), 2:46; Stalberg, Nas (tripping), 2:46; Crombeen, TB, major (fighting), 9:22; Clune, Nas, major (fighting), 9:22; Tampa Bay bench, served by Kucherov (too many men), 10:31; Namestnikov, TB (hooking), 12:44.

Third Period5, Nashville, Hornqvist 11 (Fisher, Weber), 13:56 (pp). PenaltiesGaustad, Nas (tripping), 10:09; Malone, TB (hooking), 11:59.

Shots on GoalTampa Bay 9-4-3—16. Nashville 8-13-8—29. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 1 of 3; Nashville 3 of 4. GoaliesTampa Bay, Bishop 28-9-4 (29 shots-26 saves). Nashville, Hutton 14-9-4 (16-14). A17,113 (17,113). T2:23. Referees—Marc Joannette, Greg Kimmerly. LinesmenScott Driscoll, Shane Heyer.

Lightning falls to Predators 02/27/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 28, 2014 12:19am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst

    Blogs

    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.
  2. Rank the top 10 Bucs players? Here's what fans said

    Blogs

    We mentioned this morning that is was a fun challenge, in response to Sports Illustrated's ranking of the NFL's top 400 players, to ask fans to rank their top 10 Bucs players.

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston during last year's Bucs win against the Seahawks. Evans and Winston finished 1-2 in an informal Twitter poll of fans ranking their top Bucs players.
  3. Brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn't have CTE.

    Storm

    Researchers studying the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy found that 99 percent of the brains donated by families of former NFL players showed signs of the neurodegenerative disease, according to a new study published Tuesday.

    This combination of photos provided by Boston University shows sections from a normal brain, top, and from the brain of former University of Texas football player Greg Ploetz, bottom, in stage IV of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. According to a report released on Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, research on the brains of 202 former football players has confirmed what many feared in life -- evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a devastating disease in nearly all the samples, from athletes in the NFL, college and even high school. [Dr. Ann McKee | BU via AP]
  4. How do Bucs players rank? SI puts 16 in their NFL top 400

    Blogs

    It's a fun exercise for Bucs fans: If you had to rank Tampa Bay's best players, how would your top 10 look?

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans, shown at mandatory minicamp last month, was ranked as the No. 70 player in the NFL by Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback. That's much lower than he was ranked in NFL Network's top 100 this summer.
  5. Florida Gators want a White Out in home opener

    Blogs

    At least the Florida Gators are trying to do something to spice up this season's home opener.