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 fourth straight, 3-1 to Bruins (w/video)

TAMPA — Goalie Ben Bishop minced no words when it came to the boiling frustration in the Lightning dressing room Saturday night:

"I think everyone in this room is pretty (ticked) off."

Said center Brian Boyle: "It's ridiculous. We've got to take a long, hard look in the mirror right now."

It was bad enough that the Lightning lost its fourth straight game, 3-1 to the Bruins, sparking some boos from the subdued Halloween crowd of 19,092 at Amalie Arena. Worse was how Tampa Bay (5-5-2) was outworked by a team playing the second of back-to-back games.

The Lightning's lack of scoring is puzzling enough — two goals (both on the power play) in its past four games. But its lack of compete level is what's most troubling to the team considering that playing hard was its calling card in its run to the Stanley Cup final in June.

"You've got to go out there and re-prove yourself," captain Steven Stamkos said. "No one (cares) about what happened last year. We have to have that same mentality. That's why we were so good last year, because we played all the Bostons, Detroits and Montreals (with the attitude): 'They're a top team in the league. Let's beat them.'

"Teams are thinking that this year (about the Lightning), and we're thinking, 'We're just going to come in here, we're back at home, now we'll win.' It's unacceptable, and I take responsibility as a leader of this team. We've got to be better."

Stamkos hasn't scored in five games. All-Star center Tyler Johnson is without a goal. The Lightning has gone nearly 270 minutes without an even-strength goal since Oct. 23 in Winnipeg.

"It's time to shake things up," Stamkos said. "We've tried different line combinations. We need something to get a spark."

This will be a telling test for not only the Lightning but coach Jon Cooper, whose team hasn't been in this situation since his first full season, 2013-14.

"It just seemed everyone was looking for someone else to do it instead of themselves," Cooper said of Saturday's loss. "It just kind of snowballed after that."

Stamkos said the "scary thing" is the Lightning has been in all the losses in the streak: 1-0 in overtime in Chicago, 2-0 in St. Louis and 2-1 to Colorado.

The Lightning had a 1-0 lead Saturday on a Nikita Kucherov power-play goal. Adding salt to its wound, Lightning 2010 first-round draft pick Brett Connolly scored the winner six minutes into the third during a 5-on-3 power play. Connolly, traded to Boston in March, has more goals in the past four games (three) than Tampa Bay does.

The Lightning couldn't come back. "When you're struggling to score, that one goal seems like four," Cooper said.

The Lightning's execution has been spotty at best. The power play went 1-for-5 Saturday. Bishop, making his 11th start in 12 games, said the Lightning is playing good, just not "good enough."

Stamkos said it should feel some urgency, pointing out that teams that fall too far back by Thanksgiving have a hard time crawling back into the playoff race. "Nobody is feeling sorry for us," he said. "We've got to stop feeling sorry for ourselves. We've got to go out and find a way, because no one is going to do it for us. We've got to fix this thing pretty quick."

Bruins 1 0 2 3
Lightning 1 0 0 1

 

First1, TB, Kucherov 3 (Namestnikov, Palat), 7:51 (pp). 2, Bos, Beleskey 2 (C.Miller, Hayes), 16:53. PenaltiesSpooner, Bos (holding), 6:30; Hedman, TB (slashing), 19:26.

SecondNone. PenaltiesBeleskey, Bos (boarding), 2:50; Chara, Bos (interference), 4:36.

Third3, Bos, Connolly 4 (Marchand, Chara), 5:54 (pp). 4, Bos, Marchand 5, 18:50 (en). PenaltiesKrug, Bos (interference), 2:56; Hedman, TB (holding), 3:57; Condra, TB (tripping), 5:45; Marchand, Bos (hooking), 9:32. SOGBos 13-10-11—34. TB 7-10-5—22. PP oppsBos 1 of 3; TB 1 of 5. GoaliesBos, Gustavsson 3-0-0 (22 shots-21 saves). TB, Bishop 5-5-1 (33-31). A19,092 (19,204).

Bruins right wing Brett Connolly, the Lightning’s 2010 first-round draft pick whom it traded in March, fires the puck past goalie Ben Bishop for a third-period goal that ends up the winner.

Associated Press

Bruins right wing Brett Connolly, the Lightning’s 2010 first-round draft pick whom it traded in March, fires the puck past goalie Ben Bishop for a third-period goal that ends up the winner.

Lightning loses fourth straight, 3-1 to Bruins (w/video) 10/31/15 [Last modified: Sunday, November 1, 2015 8:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium

    Bucs

    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  2. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem

    Bucs

    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  3. Matt Peca making case for Lightning spot

    Blogs

    Center Matt Peca said he didn't read too much into the fact he was the only Lightning player to appear in each of the first three exhibition games.

    But Peca, 24, loved it.

    Matt Peca won nine of 10 faceoffs Friday, a skill the Lightning badly needs.
  4. Bucs players respond to Trump comments on anthem protests

    Blogs

    President Donald Trump shared his thoughts Friday night on NFL players protesting during the national anthem, suggesting that NFL owners should "fire" players who kneel during the anthem in protest. His remarks are alreading drawing responses from many NFL players, including some Bucs.

    Bucs players Mike Evans and Jameis Winston stand with coach Dirk Koetter during the national anthem in a game played in San Diego last season.
  5. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018

    Blogs

    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    Catcher Wilson Ramos connects for a two-run single in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Sept. 20, 2017.