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 loses again, this time to Canadiens

Canadiens wing Brendan Gallagher scores against Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop in the first period, opening the scoring.

Getty Images

Canadiens wing Brendan Gallagher scores against Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop in the first period, opening the scoring.

MONTREAL — The Lightning felt it gave a much better effort Tuesday than Monday's "mailed-in" clunker in Ottawa.

"Two polar opposite games," wing Ryan Callahan said.

But after losing 4-2 to the Canadiens at the Bell Centre, Tampa Bay might want to send out a search party for the team that had won 10 of 11 before this forgettable 48-hour trek through eastern Canada.

The Lightning has lost back-to-back games for the first time since late December. But of more concern is how it happened, getting outscored a combined 9-3 by two desperate teams behind them in the standings.

"We're not going to panic over 48 hours," coach Jon Cooper said. "This is a humbling league. You can't get comfortable at any time."

The Lightning (29-20-4) can ill afford the streak to snowball this weekend, considering it's just one point ahead of ninth place in the East.

"That run we had took us back in the race," defenseman Anton Stralman said. "But by no means did we clinch or anything and we know that."

The biggest issue has been leaky play defensively, with Tampa Bay giving up too much time and space in dangerous areas.

There was an offensive-zone turnover that led to the Canadiens first goal by Brendan Gallagher on a 3-on-2 rush. There was loose zone coverage, like in Montreal's second goal by Tomas Plekanec, who pounced on a loose puck in front.

Goaltender Ben Bishop, who made 23 saves, was often left hung out to dry. He was 10-1-3 with a 1.62 goals-against average in his career against Montreal coming in and the Canadiens hadn't beaten the Lightning in regulation since April 18, 2013.

"You can't give up eight plus goals in two games and expect to win," captain Steven Stamkos said.

Cooper said it has been "alarming" how many goals the Lightning has allowed in recent games.

"We're going nowhere if we don't tighten up in the d-zone," he said.

And the once balanced offensive attack has gone dry.

Despite outshooting Montreal 39-27 Tuesday, including hitting a few posts, Tampa Bay mustered two goals. The Lightning's third line of J.T. Brown, Ryan Callahan and Valtteri Filppula has combined for two of the team's three goals the past two games, with the top two lines coming up empty.

"When your top guys aren't scoring, it makes it a little tougher for us," Cooper said.

Tampa Bay was playing without top-four defenseman Jason Garrison (lower-body injury), with Matt Carle taking his place. That not only left a hole on the blueline, but also sparked the top pairing of Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman to sometimes get split up.

Hedman scored midway through the third to cut Montreal's lead to 4-2, but the Lightning got no closer.

For the second straight game, the Lightning pulled its goalie out of desperation, Bishop leaving the net with just over three minutes to go.

With Nashville coming into town Friday and St. Louis on Sunday, the Lightning will need to find its mojo again quick.

Contact Joe Smith at joesmith@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

Canadiens 1 2 1 4
Lightning 0 1 1 2

First Period1, Montreal, Gallagher 14 (Plekanec), 5:56. PenaltiesPaquette, TB, major (fighting), 2:51; Beaulieu, Mon, major (fighting), 2:51; Emelin, Mon (hooking), 10:06; Smith-Pelly, Mon (roughing), 17:58.

Second Period2, Tampa Bay, Filppula 7 (Hedman), :40. 3, Montreal, Plekanec 11 (Gallagher, Barberio), 6:40. 4, Montreal, Smith-Pelly 5 (Subban, Eller), 19:52. PenaltiesStamkos, TB (holding stick), 12:01; Subban, Mon (interference), 13:06; Carle, TB (cross-checking), 16:45.

Third Period5, Montreal, Plekanec 12 (Galchenyuk, Emelin), 6:17. 6, Tampa Bay, Hedman 5 (Filppula, Callahan), 9:03. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 12-11-16—39. Montreal 9-12-6—27. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 3; Montreal 0 of 2. GoaliesTampa Bay, Bishop 21-15-3 (27 shots-23 saves). Montreal, Scrivens 3-4-0 (39-37). A21,288 (21,287). T2:33. Referees—Eric Furlatt, Ghislain Hebert. LinesmenShandor Alphonso, Derek Nansen.

Lightning loses again, this time to Canadiens 02/09/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 12:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    John Tortorella, in Tampa in 2014 for the 10-year Stanley Cup win party, will return next season for the team’s anniversary event.
  4. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.
  5. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.