Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning up next: Panthers fall to Capitals

WASHINGTON — Once the Capitals cracked Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo, they cruised to their fifth consecutive victory.

T.J. Oshie, Alex Ovechkin and Lars Eller scored on five shots in less than five minutes as the Capitals beat the Panthers 4-2 Saturday night to keep their winning streak going. Oshie had two goals in the game and wasn't worried about the veteran team getting frustrated by Luongo's heroics.

"Sometimes you've got to find different ways to score," said Oshie, who has six goals this season. "We got a pretty positive bench. We got guys that say the right things on the team. You saw there it took a tip-in goal to kind of open the floodgates a little bit."

Luongo was arguably the best player on the ice, making 32 saves on 36 shots, and he was on the wrong end of some mistakes by an injury-riddled Panthers lineup, which faces the Lightning on Monday in Sunrise. There wasn't much he could do on Oshie's first goal that came on a 2-on-1, or on Ovechkin's, when the superstar made a textbook deflection of Brooks Orpik's shot.

Luongo stopped just about everything he could see. He robbed Ovechkin from his spot on the power play, got his right pad on Marcus Johansson's effort from the edge of the crease and made such an impressive glove save on a rebound attempt by Nicklas Backstrom that he held the puck in the air like an outfielder showing he snared a line drive.

The 37-year-old earned plenty of kudos from Capitals players, and his coach didn't blame him at all when Florida's 2-1 lead became a 4-2 deficit in a 4:45 stretch.

"Second period he probably made five unbelievable saves to keep it close," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "We made some dumb mistakes. We opened up the ice for them. They're a team that's going to capitalize on your mistakes."

Jared McCann scored his first goal with Florida after an offseason trade from Vancouver, and Reilly Smith had a power-play goal as the Panthers led early in the third period. But without ageless right wing Jaromir Jagr, who left with a groin injury, and many other key players, they couldn't handle the Capitals' onslaught.

"Things were looking good for our hockey team, and then we fell apart again," said Gallant, whose team has lost seven of 10. "It was a matter of time before they're coming back the way we were playing."

Gallant said Jagr felt a cramp in his groin during the first period and was too sore to return. He said the injury didn't seem too serious and called the 44-year-old day-to-day.

Comments
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Blackhawks

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Blackhawks

CHICAGO — Turns out, Andrei Vasilevskiy is all right.And, believe it or not, so is the Lightning’s penalty kill, which was the unlikely hero in Monday’s streak-snapping 2-0 win over the Blackhawks at the United Center.Vasilevskiy, 23, played like the...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning angered by slash that has Ondrej Palat out 6-8 weeks

Lightning angered by slash that has Ondrej Palat out 6-8 weeks

CHICAGO — The Lightning got more bad news Monday with wing Ondrej Palat out 6-8 weeks with a lower-body injury. It’s a big blow to a struggling Tampa Bay team, which is now without its top defense­man (Victor Hedman) and now arguably its best defensi...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Blackhawks

Matt Peca and Michael Bournival likely won’t be the last callups by the Lightning the next month or so. There are plenty of other deserving candidates at AHL Syracuse, with Adam Erne likely getting a shot had he not been injured. With Ondrej Palat ou...
Updated: 3 hours ago

NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition gets some changes

Skills Competition gets a new lookThe NHL switched up its format for Saturday’s All-Star Game Skills Competition (7 p.m, NBSCN). There will be six events, including the traditional hardest shot, accuracy shooting, plus a passing challenge, puck contr...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning’s Ondrej Palat to be out six to eight weeks

Lightning’s Ondrej Palat to be out six to eight weeks

The Lightning will be without Ondrej Palat six to eight weeks. And  Tampa Bay is still ticked by how Palat got hurt.The Wild's Jared Spurgeon slashed/speared the back of the Lightning wing's right ankle on a power play Saturday."It's a huge loss...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Matt Peca, Michael Bournival hope to spark Lightning

Matt Peca, Michael Bournival hope to spark Lightning

When Matt Peca had his best training camp with the Lightning back in September, coach Jon Cooper said he learned the 5-foot-9 forward was someone the Lightning would be able to count on at some point this season.Turns out, that time is now.Peca, 27, ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

CHICAGO — It didn’t take the sound of a door slamming in the visitor’s dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay believed it had worked hard against the Wild — at least, harder than it did in Thursday’s letharg...
Published: 01/21/18
Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best coverageThe best football broadcast I’ve ever seen was Super Bowl XLIII. That was NBC’s coverage of the Steelers’ last-minute victory over th...
Published: 01/21/18
Expansion Golden Knights pass Lightning for top spot in NHL

Expansion Golden Knights pass Lightning for top spot in NHL

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Golden Knights are giving Vegas a great odds-beating story in their first year.The expansion team has the whole league playing catchup.James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault scored to help Vegas beat the Hurricanes 5-1 on Sunday and...
Published: 01/21/18
What’s gone wrong with Lightning?

What’s gone wrong with Lightning?

It didn't take the sound of a door slamming in the dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay felt like it worked hard – at least, harder than Thursday's listless loss to Vegas – yet dropped another ...
Published: 01/21/18