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 St. Louis Blues 3-1

TAMPA — All of a sudden the Lightning needs to start looking down instead of up.

After Saturday night's 3-1 loss to the Blues at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the team is in 12th place in the Eastern Conference. And after its fifth loss in six games, it is tied with the Hurricanes at the bottom of the Southeast Division.

The Lightning (32-32-7) is technically ahead of Carolina because it has played one fewer game, but that is little consolation to a team that about two weeks ago was fighting for a playoff spot.

Now it's just playing for pride.

"We can't just put our heads down," wing Tom Pyatt said. "We have to keep fighting. That's the kind of character we have. We're going to fight to the end."

"It would be easy to fold the tent," right wing Teddy Purcell said. "But you really show who you are when you have some adversity and you have a real tough hill to climb. Hopefully, this will make us better in the end."

It is not as if the injury-depleted Lightning played that badly.

It limited the Blues — the league's No. 1 team and, with the win, the first to reach 100 points and clinch a playoff spot — to 21 shots.

Defenseman Brendan Mikkelson, playing as a forward because of an injury to Ryan Shannon, scored his first NHL goal in his 116th game, and goaltender Dwayne Roloson was steady enough with 18 saves.

Tampa Bay just could not convert its scoring chances, and against St. Louis, with the best goaltending in the league, that is not good enough, especially when behind 2-0 in the first period.

"You know if you start the game behind the eight ball, it's a tough hill to climb," coach Guy Boucher said.

Purcell and Steven Stamkos were stoned from the slot by goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who entered with a 1.87 goals-against average, second in the league to teammate Brian Elliott.

Two minutes after Stamkos was stopped, Patrik Berglund scored short-handed on a two-on-one, and Jaden Schwartz, 19, made it 2-0 with 35.5 seconds left with the first shot of his first NHL game.

Halak also stopped Brett Connolly's second-period breakaway to preserve the 3-0 advantage.

It's not going to get easier for Tampa Bay. With the playoffs a mathematical possibility but quite unlikely, it will be interesting to see how the players handle the dynamic.

"My message was never about the playoffs," Boucher said. "So the message doesn't change; it's 'get better every day.' "

"You just have to keep battling through," Purcell said, "and stay positive."

Blues 2 1 0 3
Lightning 0 0 1 1
Blues 2 1 0 3
Lightning 0 0 1 1

First Period1, St. Louis, Berglund 17 (Pietrangelo, Oshie), 15:00 (sh). 2, St. Louis, Schwartz 1 (Stewart, Colaiacovo), 19:24 (pp). PenaltiesMalone, TB (goaltender interference), :52; Nichol, StL (holding), 13:08; Hall, TB (high-sticking), 18:28.

Second Period3, St. Louis, Perron 15 (Oshie), 2:47. PenaltiesNone.

Third Period4, Tampa Bay, Mikkelson 1 (Hall, Wallace), 15:49. PenaltiesLangenbrunner, StL (hooking), 5:44; Colaiacovo, StL (high-sticking), 12:41. Shots on GoalSt. Louis 13-3-5—21. Tampa Bay 6-8-9—23. Power-play opportunitiesSt. Louis 1 of 2; Tampa Bay 0 of 3. GoaliesSt. Louis, Halak 25-10-6 (23 shots-22 saves). Tampa Bay, Roloson 8-14-2 (21-18). A18,777 (19,204). T2:19. Referees—Gord Dwyer, Brad Meier. LinesmenMatt MacPherson, Anthony Sericolo.

Blues 3

Lightning 1

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to St. Louis Blues 3-1 03/17/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 17, 2012 11:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  2. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  4. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

    Twitter