Sunday, November 19, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Maple Leafs top Lightning

RECOMMENDED READING


TORONTO — The Lightning was not ready to play Wednesday night against the Maple Leafs, flat out not ready.

How that was possible considering Tampa Bay was just five points out of a playoff spot and Toronto is one of the teams it is pursuing was unfathomable to players and coaches.

"It was just disappointing," left wing Cory Conacher said after the 4-2 loss at the Air Canada Centre. "It's not even upset. It's like when your parents say they're disappointed. It's almost worse."

Worse because the Lightning (13-16-1) had won three of its previous four games and seemed to be building momentum.

Yet it was thoroughly outplayed while falling behind 4-0 through two periods — Toronto scored three in the second, including two in 29 seconds — and went 0-for-4 on the power play without a shot on goal.

To make matters worse, goalie Anders Lindback, who entered 6:53 into the second period after starter Mathieu Garon was pulled, left with 12:16 left in the third with a lower-body injury.

"Hopefully it's nothing that will keep him out for long," coach Guy Boucher said.

The Lightning did get some positives. Rookie defenseman Radko Gudas scored his first NHL goal, and Conacher, a Toronto-area native playing his first game as an NHLer at the Air Canada Centre, made it 4-2 with 2:58 left in the third.

But Tampa Bay got almost nothing out of Steven Stamkos, who had one shot and was minus-2. Teddy Purcell had zero shots and was benched in the final seven minutes. Even Marty St. Louis, who played 24:29 and had three shots, generally was a nonfactor.

But it was the seeming teamwide disinterest through the first 40 minutes or so that was so distressing, especially against a team that had lost five straight and might have crumbled if pushed early.

"They wanted the puck more than we did," Stamkos said.

"We weren't ourselves, and I don't know why," Boucher said." We looked like we were just waiting to see what was going to happen out there."

What happened was Joffrey Lupul scored in the first period after Sami Salo's defensive-zone giveaway and with Victor Hedman out of position. And Garon, who allowed three goals on 13 shots before he was pulled, missed Dion Phaneuf's blue line shot that made it 2-0 52 seconds into the second.

"You can't expect to win an NHL game if you're not going to play 60 minutes full out with the urgency needed right off the bat," Boucher said. "We didn't have that (Wednesday)."

Added Gudas: "We didn't show up as a team."

Maple Leafs1304
Lightning0022
Maple Leafs1304
Lightning0022

First1, Tor, Lupul 3 (Kadri, Gunnarsson), 6:56. PenaltiesKillorn, TB (tripping), 13:14; Lupul, Tor (tripping), 13:39.

Second2, Tor, Phaneuf 5 (Gunnarsson, Kadri), :52. 3, Tor, Bozak 8 (Kessel, Fraser), 6:53. 4, Tor, Kulemin 4 (Kadri, Lupul), 7:22. PenaltiesCrombeen, TB, major (fighting), :29; Fraser, Tor, major (fighting), :29; Kadri, Tor (interference), 8:09; Conacher, TB (roughing), 10:05; Fraser, Tor (roughing), 10:05.

Third5, TB, Gudas 1 (Labrie, Crombeen), 7:44. 6, TB, Conacher 8 (Johnson, St. Louis), 17:02. PenaltiesLupul, Tor (illegal check to head minor), :45; Gunnarsson, Tor (holding), 5:07; Purcell, TB (hooking), 10:53. Shots on GoalTB 6-11-11—28. Tor 8-10-8—26. Power-play opportunitiesTB 0 of 4; Tor 0 of 2. GoaliesTB, Garon 3-8-0 (18 shots-15 saves), Lindback (6:53 second, 8-7), Garon 3-8-0 (7:44 third). Tor, Reimer 10-4-2 (28-26). A19,433 (18,819).

 
Comments
Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

TAMPA — The firepower showed up in the third period.Yanni Gourde and Ondrej Palat scored 13 seconds apart. Gourde scored again.Suddenly it was a one-goal game, and the Lightning appeared on its way to one of those comeback wins that would be remember...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Lightning journal: Jon Cooper thrilled with stellar start

Lightning journal: Jon Cooper thrilled with stellar start

TAMPA — If you told coach Jon Cooper his team would open the season with wins in 15 of the first 19 games, well, "I’m not sure I can sit here and say I would have predicted that," he said Saturday morning.But the Lightning did just that to lead the N...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Lightning-Islanders

Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Lightning-Islanders

This is what happens when you have the best record in the league: You get the best from the other team. The Islanders came out strong and the Lightning couldn’t match it, falling behind 4-0 early in the third. For the most part, the Lightning has bee...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Early Lightning awards: Tough call on MVP

Early Lightning awards: Tough call on MVP

TAMPA — It’s still way early, but if the Lightning’s record start continues, there will be a lot of hardware up for grabs. And we’re not just talking about the Stanley Cup. Nikita Kucherov has league MVP written all over him. Andrei Vasilevskiy coul...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Red-hot Lightning leading NHL in more than wins

Nikita Kucherov, top left, celebrates with teammate Steven Stamkos (91) after scoring against Florida Panthers goalie James Reimer. [AP photo]The Lightning (15-2-2) enters tonight’s game against the visiting Islanders (10-6-2) leading the leagu...
Published: 11/18/17
Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning

Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning

TAMPA — A local TV crew set up shop in front of Brayden Point’s locker stall the other day, waiting for the Lightning forward to be ready.Then, captain Steven Stamkos walked into the room for his scrum. It didn’t take long for the TV crew to change c...
Published: 11/17/17
Lightning pummels Stars for fifth straight win

Lightning pummels Stars for fifth straight win

TAMPA — The Lightning welcomed Ben Bishop back with a classy, fitting video tribute in Thursday’s first period. The sellout crowd of 19,092 at Amalie Arena gave Bishop, the greatest goalie in franchise history, a standing ovation. It was an emotional...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Lightning journal: Specials teams in the spotlight vs. Stars

Lightning journal: Specials teams in the spotlight vs. Stars

TAMPA — C Braydon Point’s shorthanded goal tipped the game in the Lightning’s favor and the three penalties it killed during the second period kept it that way in Thursday’s 6-1 victory against the Stars.Dallas entered the game with an NHL-best 30.2 ...
Published: 11/16/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Stars game

There was a classy, fitting video tribute to former Lightning goalie Ben Bishop in the first period. Think of all the moments in his five seasons in Tampa Bay. It had to be emotional for Bishop, who calls Tampa his second home. He touched his heart a...
Published: 11/16/17
Lightning vs. Stars vs. Bishop vs. No. 1 PP in NHL

Lightning vs. Stars vs. Bishop vs. No. 1 PP in NHL

Stars’ G Ben Bishop returns to Amalie Arena tonight for the first time since his last home game as a Lightning, which came before last season’s trade deadline.The teacher vs. the pupil (Lightning G Andrei Vasilevskiy) is one story line.He...
Published: 11/16/17