Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Second period vexes Tampa Bay Lightning

NASHVILLE — This is what it has come to for the Lightning. Between the second and third periods Tuesday night, players spoke of simply winning the period.

That is what happens when you have just allowed five second-period goals. It is what passes for progress when you have one victory in 10 games; the 7-4 loss to the Predators at the Sommet Center the latest crater.

"It's pretty deflating," wing Kurtis Foster said. "There are a lot of unhappy guys here. At the rink, away from the rink, it's not a happy place right now. We need to turn this around."

"It's a mind-set we have to change," defenseman Matt Smaby said. "We can't implode like that."

Especially after playing such a good first period.

Tampa Bay (11-13-9) outshot the Predators 13-6, on the way to a 34-27 advantage, and took a 2-1 lead on Steven Stamkos' team-high 18th goal, his first in nine games, and the first of two goals for Vinny Lecavalier, who scored for the first time on the power play and had a three-point night.

The turnaround was stunning in its suddenness as Nashville scored on five of 10 second-period shots to take a 6-2 lead.

Goaltending didn't help. Antero Niittymaki was pulled after allowing four goals in the game on 14 shots. Mike Smith, who entered with 7:38 left in the second, allowed goals on both shots he faced in the period.

Most damaging, though, were individual breakdowns.

Victor Hedman was outworked twice by David Legwand before Legwand scored 1:12 into the second. Foster failed to get a body on Ryan Jones to prevent his re-direct at 2:53. Niittymaki's late reaction on Patric Hornqvist's goal got him pulled, and James Wright's giveaway led to J.P. Dumont's goal 28 seconds later.

Not the way to end a tumultuous day that began with the benchings of Alex Tanguay and Jeff Halpern, and a declaration by coach Rick Tocchet that other front-line players could be scratched if things don't improve.

But Tocchet saw silver linings.

Yes, he said, the team needs to be better at "sealing off" the crease, but "we played hard. I enjoyed watching the effort. There were some goals there, not clearing the front of the net. That's something the coaches have to keep hammering on. When the pressure is on, you have to make the right decisions."

As in the third period, which Tampa Bay won 2-1 by winning more puck battles and limiting turnovers.

"Still," said Lecavalier, who had a game-high seven shots, "we lost the game. There were some positives, but there were still a lot of negatives, too.

Five in the second period.

at Predators 1 5 1 7
Lightning 2 0 2 4

First1, Nashville, Smithson 5 (Legwand, Ward), 6:53. 2, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 18 (Malone, Ohlund), 11:35. 3, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 7 (Foster, St. Louis), 16:30 (pp). PenaltiesSmithson, Nas (cross-checking), 14:30; Suter, Nas (high-sticking), 16:04.

Second4, Nashville, Legwand 7 (Ward), 1:12. 5, Nashville, R.Jones 3 (Spaling, Weber), 2:57. 6, Nashville, Hornqvist 8 (Goc), 12:22. 7, Nashville, Dumont 6 (Hornqvist), 12:50. 8, Nashville, Hamhuis 3 (Suter, Goc), 16:09. PenaltiesWalker, TB (boarding), 4:32; Arnott, Nas (hooking), 6:17; Downie, TB, major (fighting), 13:39; Weber, Nas, major (fighting), 13:39; Veilleux, TB, major (fighting), 18:10; Klein, Nas, major (fighting), 18:10.

Third9, Tampa Bay, Foster 4 (Lecavalier, St. Louis), 1:52 (pp). 10, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 8 (Meszaros), 12:20. 11, Nashville, Erat 11 (Sullivan, Arnott), 13:47. PenaltiesMalone, TB, major (fighting), :53; Smithson, Nas, minor-major (roughing, fighting), :53; Hedman, TB (boarding), 5:46; Stamkos, TB (hooking), 20:00. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 13-12-9—34. Nashville 6-10-11—27. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 2 of 4; Nashville 0 of 2. GoaliesTampa Bay, Niittymaki (14 shots-10 saves), M.Smith 5-8-5 (12:22 second, 13-10). Nashville, Rinne 14-6-2 (34-30). A15,084 (17,113). T2:31. Referees—David Banfield, Kerry Fraser. LinesmenTim Nowak, Dan Schachte.

Predators 7

Lightning 4

Second period vexes Tampa Bay Lightning 12/15/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 12:29am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Once targeted by the Bucs, Dalvin Cook thrills for the Vikings


    How good would the Bucs be with running back Dalvin Cook?

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) slips a tackle by Steelers strong safety Sean Davis (28) to score a touchdown Sunday in Pittsburgh. [AP photo]
  2. Boxer LaMotta, immortalized in 'Raging Bull,' dies at 95


    MIAMI — Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion whose life in and out of the ring was depicted in the film Raging Bull, for which Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award, has died, his fiancee said Wednesday. He was 95.

    Jake LaMotta, retired professional boxer, shakes hands with Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) on the field before the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15, 2015. LaMotta was on hand to sign autographs in the Ted Williams Museum.
  3. J.R. Sweezy shows what Bucs were missing


    By Greg Auman

    TAMPA —- Sunday's season-opening win against the Bears saw the debut of 13 Bucs, a mix of rookies and free-agent veterans.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard J.R. Sweezy (73), seen at center, runs through drills during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, July 31, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  4. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Vikings features a battle of top rookies


    Greg Auman looks at how much the Bucs have changed since the last time they played the Minnesota Vikings in 2014 in our latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) makes a reception as Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) tackles him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Late Holy Names swimmer Cailin Cannella was a fighter until the end

    Swimming Preps

    At swim meets, Cailin Cannella would race side-by-side with her breastroke competitors, their heads bobbing in near unison.

    Holy Names swimmer Cailin Cannella, here at age 13, still was practicing last year after finding out she had osteosarcoma (bone cancer). [Times 2016]