Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Loading...
  1. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule

    Tennis

    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]
  2. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans

    Blogs

    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  3. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?

    Blogs

    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  4. Rays at Twins, 2:10 p.m. Saturday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Today: at Twins

    2:10, Target Field, Minneapolis

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  5. State baseball: Unbeaten Calvary Christian makes it 29 straight wins, reaches final

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian is one game from season-long perfection. And its first state championship.

     Calvary Christian players celebrate their win after the FHSAA class 4A semi-final against American Heritage on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary defeated American Heritage 7 to 1. Calvary takes on Pensacola Catholic in the championship tomorrow night, at Hammond Stadium.