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)

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Colorado Avalanche

DENVER — Rick Tocchet and his assistant coaches enjoyed a short morning's drive down Speer Boulevard from the Lightning team hotel to the Pepsi Center on Saturday. Another dusting of snow had left the trees lining the avenue through the upscale Denver suburb looking like something from a Christmas card.

He was in need of those peaceful visions by the end of the day. His team may soon be, too.

The Lightning was the tonic the struggling Avalanche needed. It gave up three goals in the first period and ended up losing its fourth straight, 4-3.

Two goals in the final 10 minutes, including one by rookie Steven Stamkos on a four-minute power play, were only more frustrating for Tocchet, who vowed that "life is going to get miserable."

Wojtek Wolski had two goals and Marek Svatos three assists for an Avalanche team Tocchet respectfully asserted was not as good as his, player for player, on Saturday.

Ryan Malone's third-period tip on a power play gave him goals in four straight games, and Vinny Lecavalier scored his 10th of the season in the second and added an assist. But it was yet another partial effort for the Lightning, especially below the top two lines.

Colorado, which entered the game a loser of four of its previous six, scored three goals in less than four minutes to end the first period, eventually prompting the removal of starting goalie Olaf Kolzig for Mike Smith.

Kolzig has been pulled early in his past two starts — Saturday after allowing three goals on 10 shots — but Tocchet blamed the lackluster effort around him.

"As a coaching staff, after the first period we're shaking our heads," he said of his team, 6-10-7 and tied for the fewest points in the East with 19. "It's like some guys are collecting a paycheck. Right now it's a sad statement."

Colorado took a 1-0 lead at 15:20 of the first period on a power play goal by Jordan Leopold. Wolski, who entered the game with two goals this season, scored twice in the final three minutes of the period. David Jones made it 4-1 3:42 into the third period when he pounced on a clearing pass from Smith up the middle and weaved in to score.

What had seemed like a gravy goal eventually became the winner, and Smith took the mistake hard, blaming himself for the loss.

"It cost us the game," said Smith, who made 20 saves on 21 shots. "Down 3-1 my job is to stop the puck. It's my nature. I tried to do too much."

A visiting team struggling in Denver would hardly be a news flash if not for the Avalanche's struggles this season. Star center Joe Sakic was out again Saturday with lingering back issues, and the team has struggled to find an identity and scoring punch, dwelling at the bottom of the Northwest Division.

The Lightning even dodged Colorado's top goaltender, Peter Budaj, but Andrew Raycroft made 17 saves on 20 shots by Tampa Bay.

Avalanche 3 0 1 4
Lightning 0 1 2 3
Avalanche 3 0 1 4
Lightning 0 1 2 3

First Period—1, Colorado, Leopold 4 (Svatos), 15:20 (pp). 2, Colorado, Wolski 3 (Svatos, Arnason), 17:21. 3, Colorado, Wolski 4 (Arnason, Svatos), 18:57. PenaltiesMcCormick, Col (hooking), 2:28; Willsie, Col (holding), 12:03; Prospal, TB (hooking), 13:46.

Second Period4, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 10 (Ranger, Malone), 12:17. PenaltiesLecavalier, TB (high-sticking), :11; Willsie, Col (interference), 7:36.

Third Period5, Colorado, D.Jones 2 (McCormick, Clark), 3:42. 6, Tampa Bay, Malone 7 (Eminger, Stamkos), 9:19 (pp). 7, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 3 (Lecavalier, Eminger), 15:31 (pp). PenaltiesStamkos, TB (hooking), :59; Downie, TB, major (fighting), 5:57; McLeod, Col, major (fighting), 5:57; Arnason, Col (hooking), 8:53; McCormick, Col, double minor (high-sticking), 12:35; Ranger, TB (interference), 17:44. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 5-4-11—20. Colorado 10-12-9—31. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 2 of 6; Colorado 1 of 4. GoaliesTampa Bay, Kolzig (10 shots-7 saves), M.Smith 5-6-6 (0:00 second, 21-20). Colorado, Raycroft 3-1-0 (20-17). A18,007 (18,007).

Avalanche 4

Lightning 3

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Colorado Avalanche 11/29/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 1, 2008 1:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now

    Blogs

    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.