Saturday, January 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Washington Capitals 4-3

WASHINGTON — Five lousy minutes.

Five lousy minutes when the Lightning took three minor penalties and the Capitals scored two power-play goals were the difference in Tampa Bay's 4-3 loss Friday night at the Verizon Center.

But the way the Lightning looked at it, it was referees Mike Hasenfratz and Francois St. Laurent who were lousy and bore some responsibility for Tampa Bay falling behind 2-0 in the game's first 5:45.

An argument could be made goaltender Dwayne Roloson should have stopped the tallies by Alex Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer, but …

"Two penalties for absolutely nothing," Boucher said. "We get two penalties for absolutely nothing; calls that are never called the entire year, so right away they give (the Capitals) a break, and they capitalize right away, and we're behind the eight ball the rest of the way."

"They scored two power-play goals," center Steven Stamkos said, "and in the end, those are the goals that won them the game."

It was the sixth straight loss for Tampa Bay (17-22-4), and it might have been the most frustrating in the streak because except for those five minutes, the Lightning had the better of play, evinced by a 31-20 shot advantage that helped the team overcome a 3-0 second-period deficit.

Tom Pyatt's second-period goal started the rally. Stamkos' power-play goal, his league-best 30th goal of the season, made it 3-2 with 3:24 left in the third, and after Brouwer's empty-net goal, Vinny Lecavalier made it 4-3 with 11 seconds left.

For good measure, Stamkos got his licks in on Brouwer, who had a hat trick but with 6:11 left in the third hit Marty St. Louis from behind into the boards.

"Our players played hard," Boucher said. "We can't ask for more with our players."

They just couldn't do enough to overcome those five lousy minutes.

They began with defenseman Pavel Kubina's high-sticking penalty on Marcus Johansson 48 seconds in. The play was over, Boucher said, and any contact with Johansson was inadvertent because Kubina, though his stick was in the air, had no intention of hitting the Capitals player.

Tampa Bay killed that power play but wasn't as lucky on St. Louis' interference call or Eric Brewer's delay of game, both of which produced goals through Roloson's legs. There was no arguing Brewer's penalty, but St. Louis said he simply skated in front of Washington's Joel Ward.

"It's a play that happens all the time," he said. "I don't know."

What Tampa Bay knows is it answered well after Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Hurricanes but still fell 10 points behind the Capitals for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"We played well enough to win," Boucher said. "What's tough is we're not getting the breaks."

Especially in those five lousy minutes.

Capitals2114
Lightning0123
Capitals2114
Lightning0123

First Period1, Washington, Ovechkin 18 (Johansson, Wideman), 3:52 (pp). 2, Washington, Brouwer 12 (Semin, Wideman), 5:45 (pp). PenaltiesKubina, TB (high-sticking), :48; St. Louis, TB (interference), 3:01; Brewer, TB (delay of game), 5:07; Washington bench, served by Beagle (too many men), 11:04; Hamrlik, Was (hooking), 18:01.

Second Period3, Washington, Brouwer 13 (Laich, Knuble), 5:25. 4, Tampa Bay, Pyatt 4 (St. Louis), 17:06. PenaltiesCarlson, Was (tripping), 10:16; Downie, TB, major (fighting), 12:42; Alzner, Was, major (fighting), 12:42.

Third Period5, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 30 (Malone, Lecavalier), 16:36 (pp). 6, Washington, Brouwer 14 (Laich, Halpern), 19:00 (en). 7, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 17 (St. Louis, Purcell), 19:49. PenaltiesClark, TB (holding), 10:09; Stamkos, TB (roughing), 13:49; Brouwer, Was (boarding, roughing), 13:49; Hamrlik, Was (delay of game), 16:00. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 8-8-15—31. Washington 8-5-7—20. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 1 of 5; Washington 2 of 4. GoaliesTampa Bay, Roloson 6-10-2 (19 shots-16 saves). Washington, Vokoun 18-10-0 (31-28). A18,506 (18,398). T2:39. Referees—Mike Hasenfratz, Francois St. Laurent. LinesmenJay Sharrers, Brian Murphy.

Comments
Lightning falls to Wild, its fifth loss in seven games

Lightning falls to Wild, its fifth loss in seven games

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Lightning said all the right things about needing to look in the mirror and do some soul-searching during its recent funk. Veterans said they had to lead the way. Coach Jon Cooper believed this eight-game trip would "show us wha...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Mikhail Sergachev gets thrown into the fire for Lightning

Mikhail Sergachev gets thrown into the fire for Lightning

ST. PAUL, Minn. — For the first 20-plus games this season, Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness knew "the look" was coming.The other team’s top line would jump over the boards and Tampa Bay rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev would peek over at Bow...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Missing the Olympics a missed opportunity (and misstep) for NHL?

Missing the Olympics a missed opportunity (and misstep) for NHL?

One week from today, Tampa will be the center of the hockey world.The All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. Players will smile for the cameras. They'll put on a fantastic show. Maybe they'll catch a bead or two from a Gasparilla parade.But you ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy: ‘I have to be better’

Andrei Vasilevskiy: ‘I have to be better’

The rest of the Lightning players had already left the ice Friday afternoon, heading into the dressing room for a quick change before the team's charter flight to Minnesota.But goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, 23, stayed on late, facing about 15 minutes mo...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Fennelly: Lightning needs a reset on the road … pronto

Fennelly: Lightning needs a reset on the road … pronto

TAMPA — Vegas has left the building.Wasn't the Lightning just arranging place settings for next weekend's NHL All-Star Game party?With that in mind, I headed to the home dressing room at Amalie Arena late Thursday after the Lightning was manhan...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
Golden Knights move within one point of Lightning for top spot in NHL

Golden Knights move within one point of Lightning for top spot in NHL

SUNRISE — Aaron Ekblad scored 40 seconds into overtime to lift the Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the Golden Knights on Friday, spoiling Vegas coach Gerard Gallant’s return to Florida. By gaining a point, Vegas moved within one point of the Lightning...
Published: 01/19/18
Time for Lightning leaders to snap team out of funk

Time for Lightning leaders to snap team out of funk

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Steven Stamkos sat at his stall in a near-empty Lightning dressing room Thursday and did what captains often do:He shouldered some blame for the Lightning's listless 4-1 loss to Vegas."As a leader, I've got to be a lot better,...
Published: 01/19/18
Why I hate the NHL All-Star Game

Why I hate the NHL All-Star Game

TAMPA — The NHL All-Star Game is coming to town next weekend, reaffirming our community's ability to step into the breach when needed. We don't stop until we get the Winter Olympics. So, don't be surprised if those next Rays stadium plans ...
Published: 01/19/18
Steven Stamkos: ‘I have to be a lot better’

Steven Stamkos: ‘I have to be a lot better’

There was plenty of blame to go around after the Lightning's 4-1 loss to the Golden Knights Thursday night.This loss wasn't on one person, no question.But captain Steven Stamkos showed some leadership by shouldering some responsibility for the team's...
Published: 01/19/18
Lightning falls to Golden Knights

Lightning falls to Golden Knights

TAMPA — The door to the Lightning dressing room remained closed a little longer than usual Thursday night, and that wasn’t surprising. After the kind of performance displayed in its 4-1 loss to the expansion Golden Knights, this had team...
Published: 01/18/18
Updated: 01/19/18