Sunday, May 27, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning shut out for second game in a row (w/video)

ST. LOUIS — To captain Steven Stamkos, giving up just two combined regulation goals in two games — one an empty-netter — should be more than enough.

"Usually, you win 95 percent of them, especially on the road," Stamkos said.

But you can't win if you don't score, and the Lightning stunningly hasn't in the past two games, including a 2-0 defeat to the Blues on Tuesday in front of a sold-out Scottrade Center. Tampa Bay lost 1-0 in overtime to the Blackhawks on Saturday.

The Lightning (5-3-2), the league's highest-scoring team last season, has been shut out in back-to-back games for just the second time in 12 years, the first since Nov. 29 and Dec. 3, 2013, against the Penguins and Blue Jackets, respectively.

"When you're in those little funks, things just don't seem to bounce your way," Stamkos said.

It made for a bitter end to what could have been a great "measuring stick" road trip. Tampa Bay did okay, going 1-1-2 and picking up four of eight possible points against playoff teams Nashville, Winnipeg, Chicago and St. Louis, but it lamented missed opportunities in the final two games.

"Can't sit here and sugarcoat it, got shut out in two games," coach Jon Cooper said. "Did (the trip) start okay? It did. But it didn't finish well."

Said Stamkos: "I don't think this group is satisfied with that."

Like Kristers Gudlevskis did on Saturday with 31 saves, goaltender Ben Bishop — returning to his hometown — gave Tampa Bay a chance to win Tuesday.

But though the Lightning had its share of chances, outshooting St. Louis 26-24, it couldn't convert. Alex Killorn hit the post in the second period, and Stamkos' one-timer deflected off the crossbar in the third. The Lightning had just half a minute of power-play time.

"There's obviously opportunities to score," forward Tyler Johnson said. "Can't be too upset by that, but at the same time, we've got to bear down and make sure we get one."

The Lightning got off to a strong start, controlling play for much of the first period and having better possession, chances and shot attempts (24-12). But Tampa Bay trailed 1-0 after the first. It has not led after the first 20 minutes yet through 10 games this season.

Blues center Scott Gomez made a perfect redirection of a point shot with four minutes left in the first to make it 1-0.

"From my vantage point, it's coming over the net," Bishop said of the shot. "It's a tough break, a good tip, can't do much about it."

Bishop's close friend and former AHL teammate Jake Allen earned the shutout, and bragging rights.

With the Lightning's scoring slump approaching five periods, Cooper mixed it up in the second, splitting up the touted Triplets line, which has just one even-strength goal through the 10 games. Johnson, who still has zero goals, moved around, with Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov playing alongside Stamkos.

Cooper said they need to get to the "dirty areas," and put more traffic in front of the net, not try to score as much from the perimeter. Stamkos said his team has no reason to panic and is confident it'll get through this scoring slump.

"When you need (a goal), you've got to find a way to grease one out," Cooper said. "And we're having trouble doing that right now."

Blues 1 0 1 2
Lightning 0 0 0 0

 

First Period1, St. Louis, Gomez 1 (Parayko, Brouwer), 15:59. PenaltiesNone.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesCondra, TB (tripping), 7:05.

Third Period2, St. Louis, Brouwer 3 (Pietrangelo), 19:19 (en). PenaltiesTampa Bay bench, served by Namestnikov (too many men), 7:48; Lehtera, StL (interference), 8:16; Nesterov, TB (holding), 14:39. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 12-8-6—26. St. Louis 8-7-9—24. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 1; St. Louis 0 of 3. GoaliesTampa Bay, Bishop 5-3-1 (23 shots-22 saves). St. Louis, Allen 2-2-0 (26-26). A19,184 (19,150). T2:24. Referees—Marc Joannette, Kyle Rehman. LinesmenBrian Murphy, Jay Sharrers.

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