Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's nine-game winning streak ends with loss to Flyers

PHILADELPHIA

The Lightning's record winning streak ended with a dud Monday night, a 4-2 loss to the Flyers that shouldn't have been that close.

Had it not been for goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy's brilliant performance — 36 saves, many highlight-reel worthy — this one could have gotten real ugly.

"We had one guy show up," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "And it was (Vasilevskiy)."

Big-picture, the Lightning has won nine of its past 10 to take over first place in the Atlantic Division, albeit with just a one point lead over Florida and Boston, which enters Amalie Arena tonight.

But Tampa Bay knows Monday's brutal performance — getting outshot 40-18 — better be a blip.

"We got outplayed, outworked, outcompeted, out-classed, out everything," Cooper said. "Now let's see what's inside us."

The Lightning (39-23-4) had to lean on its goaltenders often during its nine-game winning streak, starter Ben Bishop and Vasilevskiy coming to the rescue.

But Monday's game was completely dumped on Vasilevskiy's shoulders. It didn't help that defensemen Andrej Sustr and Braydon Coburn were hurt. Yet the Lightning held a 1-0 lead after 36 minutes. Veteran defenseman Matt Carle, who admittedly had a couple of bad turnovers, said players were almost laughing inside that they were actually up.

"We hung Vasy out to dry," Carle said. "Without him, who knows what the score would have been? It would have been pretty bad."

Vasilevskiy's most impressive save was on a two-on-none in the first period, when Carle's turnover led to Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Wayne Simmonds in all alone. But Vasilevskiy made a post-to-post sliding stop on Bellemare.

"Just tried to keep good position and just stay calm and make the move," Vasilevskiy said.

The Flyers cracked Vasilevskiy on their 30th shot, with three minutes left in the second. Star defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, a rookie who had two goals, pounced on a rebound on a tally that was confirmed despite Tampa Bay's challenge for goalie interference.

"We knew we were playing really good hockey." Gostisbehere said. "And we had them in the palm of our hand."

One minute later, the Flyers had a flurry of chances, Bellemare hitting the crossbar before Vasilevskiy robbed Chris Vandevelde with a skate save on the rebound.

"He's unreal," Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek said. "He's the best young goalie in the game, and we're happy to have him. So fortunate to have him Monday."

Cooper also praised Koekkoek, who had his first NHL point (an assist). But other than that, Cooper said his team "laid an egg."

Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning didn't compete, and "that's what happens." But while Stamkos notes it's "easy to overanalyze and get in the gutter," the key is how the team responds tonight.

"I expect a bounceback from this group," Stamkos said. "We've been in this situation before, when we haven't played our best. Let's not all get panicky here and worried. That was a (poor) game. We realize that. But we've got to get back to work (tonight)."

Flyers 0134
Lightning1012

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Palat 11 (Koekkoek, Johnson), 4:07. PenaltiesGarrison, TB (holding), 1:46; Namestnikov, TB (high-sticking), 5:07; Giroux, Phi (hooking), 7:51; Killorn, TB (hooking), 8:18; Nesterov, TB (high-sticking), 18:57.

Second Period2, Philadelphia, Gostisbehere 13 (Raffl, Couturier), 16:51. PenaltiesGudas, Phi (holding), 19:01.

Third Period3, Philadelphia, Gostisbehere 14 (Giroux, Streit), 7:21 (pp). 4, Philadelphia, Schenn 22 (Giroux, Simmonds), 13:57. 5, Tampa Bay, Namestnikov 11 (Johnson, Kucherov), 14:53. 6, Philadelphia, Simmonds 24 (Schenn), 19:33 (en). PenaltiesNesterov, TB (delay of game), 6:11. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 3-6-9—18. Philadelphia 9-22-9—40. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 2; Philadelphia 1 of 5. GoaliesTampa Bay, Vasilevskiy 11-6-0 (39 shots-36 saves). Philadelphia, Mason 15-15-7 (18-16). A17,906 (19,537). T2:30. Referees—Francis Charron, Frederick L'Ecuyer. LinesmenDerek Amell, Matt MacPherson.

 
Comments
Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

The Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday night still featured the usual post-game music in the dressing room.But there was more of a somber tone with veteran right wing Ryan Callahan's right arm in a sling. Callahan, who got hurt on a na...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. — As much as the Lightning has been rolling, it remembered how it lost twice last season to the Coyotes.That included blowing a one-goal third-period lead at home down the stretch, with Tampa Bay missing the playoffs by a point."You l...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the dynamic Lightning defenseman. They both were top 10 picks in 2016, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in th...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the Lightning defenseman.They both were picked in the top-10 of the 2016 NHL Draft, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in three w...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Published: 12/14/17
Andrei Vasilevskiy’s dreams are coming true

Andrei Vasilevskiy’s dreams are coming true

GLENDALE, Ariz — Nikita Kucherov’s toughest challenge isn’t facing Canadiens goalie Carey Price, or Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky.It comes in practice against Andrei Vasilevskiy. "I’ve been saying, I thought he was going to be the top goalie in the leag...
Published: 12/13/17
Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

ST. LOUIS — Tyler Johnson hasn’t played very much wing in his career, primarily sticking to his natural center position. But lately, Johnson has been stellar on the right side.Johnson’s assist in Tuesday’s win over the Blues extended his point streak...
Published: 12/13/17
Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

ST. LOUIS — This showdown was supposed to be about the best team in the East versus the best in the West. In reality, the Lightning’s 3-0 win over the Blues on Tuesday night pretty much came down to this:Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalies ...
Published: 12/12/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Blues

Andrei Vasilevskiy might have made the save of the year. With the Lightning leading by one midway through the second, an Alex Steen dump-in took a wild carom off the boards. Vasilevskiiy somehow sprawled out for a right-toe save. Then, on his back, V...
Published: 12/12/17
Lightning face Blues in showdown between NHL’s top two teams

Lightning face Blues in showdown between NHL’s top two teams

The Lightning's west coast trip will start with a bang tonight in St. Louis.Tonight's game will pit the top two teams in the NHL, with Tampa Bay (21-6-2) atop the Eastern Conference, the Blues (21-8-2) the No. 1 team in the West.Fittingly, an NBCSN-a...
Published: 12/12/17