CALGARY — New coach, new system, many new players, yet the Lightning still can't quite figure out shootouts.
It gets lots of credit for battling back from a two-goal third-period deficit. But it failed to score in the shootout and lost 5-4 to the Flames at Pengrowth Saddledome on Saturday night to end their four-game preseason road trip 2-1-1.
The game was an interesting combination of good and bad. Tampa Bay was outshot 11-5 in the first period but ended with a 27-23 advantage as the defense tightened somewhat, though blue-line breakdowns led to at least two goals for Calgary, which played without many of its stars.
Simon Gagne scored his second goal of the preseason. Vinny Lecavalier scored his first two preseason goals; one on the power play 8:59 into the third period cut the Lightning's deficit to 4-3. And Steven Stamkos' power-play goal with 1:12 left in the third tied the score 4-4.
But Teddy Purcell, Gagne and Lecavalier failed in the shootout, and Calgary got one goal past G Cedrick Desjardins.
Just a reminder, the Lightning was 7-17 in shootouts the past two seasons.
Still, given a fourth game in five nights, Tampa Bay shouldn't feel too bad about the outcome, though Stamkos will regret not finishing a two-on-one with Marty St. Louis with 1:26 left in overtime as G Matt Keetley made a sliding pad save of the shot off a bouncing puck.
LINEUP CHANGE: C Blair Jones took the place of F Dana Tyrell, who is from nearby Airdrie and had several family members at the game. Coach Guy Boucher said the change was not a knock on Tyrell, who is expected to survive a significant roster cut likely to come today, but a reward for Jones, who has impressed the staff perhaps more than expected. "He's played hard and deserves it because of his work ethic," Boucher said.
COMPETITION: Camp began with two wing positions open and Swedes Johan Harju and Niklas Persson assumed the front-runners. But with RW Adam Hall looking as if he will make the team and some minor-leaguers pushing, the competition for the last spot among the starting 12 forwards is heating up. Believed to be on the bubble are Harju, Persson, Jones, Tyrell, Eric Perrin, Paul Szczechura and James Wright. Assuming Tampa Bay keeps 13 forwards and an extra, that's seven players for two spots. "It's a major fight," Boucher said, "and it's not over."
INJURIES: C Dominic Moore, who has not played since the first preseason game, cut short Friday's practice because a sore left groin acted up, Boucher said. And D Mathieu Roy left Saturday's game with 3:57 left in the third period when he was hit above the right eye by a puck that rolled up the shaft of his stick. He got six stitches. Other injured players are G Mike Smith (finger), D Randy Jones (finger), D Matt Smaby (concussion) and C Marc Pouliot (upper body).
ODD AND ENDS: Flames LW and former Lightning Alex Tanguay did not play. … Tampa Bay was scheduled to land in Tampa at 6 a.m. Sunday. It will not practice until Tuesday. ... Ice Fest is 6-10 p.m. Tuesday at the St. Pete Times Forum.
|Flames win shootout 1-0|
First Period—1, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 1, :27. 2, Calgary, Brodie 1 (Giordano, Kotalik), 6:59 (pp). 3, Calgary, Brodie 2 (Giordano, Kotalik), 10:20 (pp). Penalties—Cunning, Cal (interference), 4:19; Kubina, TB (tripping), 5:11; Ohlund, TB (slashing), 9:22; Perrin, TB (hooking), 9:25; Kronwall, Cal (roughing), 17:58.
Second Period—4, Calgary, Conroy 1 (Kronwall, Cunning), 8:30. 5, Tampa Bay, Gagne 2 (Stamkos, St. Louis), 9:45. Penalties—Ivanans, Cal (roughing), 2:08; Perrin, TB (boarding), 5:40; Ivanans, Cal (boarding), 11:17; Tampa Bay bench, served by Purcell (too many men), 12:56; Malone, TB, major (fighting), 19:24; Meyer, Cal, major (fighting), 19:24.
Third Period—6, Calgary, Kotalik 2 (Glencross, Giordano), 6:33. 7, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 2 (Kubina, St. Louis), 8:59 (pp). 8, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 2 (Kubina, St. Louis), 18:48 (pp). Penalties—Nemisz, Cal (hooking), 7:59; Malone, TB (tripping), 9:42; Kronwall, Cal (tripping), 11:45; Conroy, Cal (hooking), 18:03.
Shootout—Tampa Bay 0 (Purcell NG, Gagne NG, Lecavalier NG), Calgary 1 (Kotalik G, Bourque NG). Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 5-10-10-2—27. Calgary 11-7-3-2—23. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 2 of 7; Calgary 2 of 6. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Desjardins 1-0-1 (23 shots-19 saves). Calgary, Kiprusoff (15-13), Keetley 1-0-0 (0:00 third, 12-10).