Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning loses third straight (w/ video)

TAMPA — The frustration is slowly starting to build in the Lightning.

After a long, grueling road trip, it was hoping that a little Tampa sunshine and the friendly confines of Amalie Arena would help it snap a couple of droughts. Tampa Bay entered Thursday's game against the Avalanche on a two-game losing streak in which it was shut out in both contests.

One of those streaks did come to an end for the Lightning but not both.

Alex Killorn scored his second goal of the season, but the Lightning fell 2-1, its third straight loss despite outshooting Colorado 35-26 and having more scoring chances.

Former Lightning forward Alex Tanguay and Nathan MacKinnon scored for Colorado.

The Lightning (5-4-2) will try to get back on the winning track Saturday when it takes on the Bruins, the finale of its two-game homestand.

"It's the way it happens," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "If we were the NFL and had a 16-game season, I would be worried. But it's an 82-game season, so I'm not worried.

"We had some Grade A's (scoring chances). If we keep getting those chances, the goals are going to come for us."

Until they do, the players are trying to wrap their heads around why they have just one goal in their past three games, an oddity for the Lightning, which led the league in goals last season.

But the chances are coming.

Down two men after Valtteri Filppula was called for holding 35 seconds into the final period and the Lightning down 2-1, Ondrej Palat intercepted a puck at his blue line and raced alone toward Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (34 saves). But the goalie denied not only Palat's shot but Tyler Johnson's rebound shot.

Later, in the final seconds of the game, Palat found himself alone in front of Varlamov and the puck rolling toward him. But as he went to shoot, Colorado defenseman Nick Holden deflected the puck safely out of play.

"There's frustration," Palat said. "I'm trying hard, but it's just not going in. Everything is bouncing.

"We talk about having to just stick with it and work hard. When we do that, it's frustrating when it's not going in."

One thing that is working is the Lightning's defense. Goalie Ben Bishop made 24 saves, and Tampa Bay killed all six of Colorado's power plays.

Cooper said the players are naturally feeling down.

"We're so used to scoring goals, you have to scratch your head a little bit when you go through a stretch like this," he said. "As I've said, they're doing everything we asked. They're working their tails off. It's only natural to be frustrated. If they weren't frustrated, then I would probably have a little bit of an issue. They're frustrated, as we all are, and we're just going to keep going."

Avalanche 1 1 0 2
Lightning 0 1 0 1
Avalanche 1 1 0 2
Lightning 0 1 0 1

 

First Period1, Colorado, Tanguay 1 (Iginla, MacKinnon), 15:57. PenaltiesColorado bench, served by Grigorenko (too many men), 2:11; Zadorov, Col (interference), 4:50; Carle, TB (holding), 12:10; Boyle, TB (hooking), 18:10.

Second Period2, Colorado, MacKinnon 4 (Iginla, Tanguay), 13:04. 3, Tampa Bay, Killorn 2 (Hedman, Filppula), 15:46 (pp). PenaltiesTampa Bay bench, served by Marchessault (too many men), 1:37; Landeskog, Col (slashing), 15:09; Hedman, TB (holding), 18:51.

Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesFilppula, TB (holding), :35; Soderberg, Col (cross-checking), :58; T.Johnson, TB (goaltender interference), :58; Stralman, TB (interference), 4:27; Duchene, Col (delay of game), 13:18. Shots on GoalColorado 10-11-5—26. Tampa Bay 9-13-13—35. Power-play opportunitiesColorado 0 of 6; Tampa Bay 1 of 4. GoaliesColorado, Varlamov 2-3-1 (35 shots-34 saves). Tampa Bay, Bishop 5-4-1 (26-24). A19,092 (19,204).

   
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