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Tampa Bay Lightning power play loses its recent steam

TAMPA — With goals in seven straight games and 10 of 11, the power play had been a handy item for the Lightning. But it fell flat in Monday's 3-0 loss to the Avalanche, going 0-for-7, including 0-for-3 in the first 10 minutes.

"Obviously, our power play pretty much lost us the game," point man Marty St. Louis said. "We didn't get anything accomplished, and that falls on our top guys, especially me. I'm out there quite a bit."

"It was pretty frustrating," fellow point man Kurtis Foster said. "It didn't seem like we were on the same page."

That wasn't the case in its previous 11 games as Tampa Bay was 12-for-46 (26 percent). Coach Rick Tocchet credited having two units. It maintained energy levels, he said, and fostered competition.

The forward lines have been split like this: C Vinny Lecavalier with Alex Tanguay and Jeff Halpern, and C Steven Stamkos with LW Ryan Malone and Steve Downie. St. Louis plays point on both units with the other point position split, for the most part, between Foster and Andrej Meszaros.

Lecavalier also was switched from point to his more familiar position at the side wall.

"To get him a little more involved," Tocchet said. "We were a bit too stagnant with him on the point and, quite frankly, we were giving up too many shorthanded chances. We just couldn't have it."

What the Lightning didn't have against Colorado was cohesion. It relied too much on big shots rather than working toward the net. Hitting the net also was problematic as were seemingly blind passes.

"You have to be prepared for it, and I don't think we were," St. Louis said. "That falls a lot on me. I take full responsibility. I made some bad decisions out there. I have to show more poise than I did."

Ohlund plays: D Mattias Ohlund was in after missing seven games with a right ankle injury and played 19:13 with a blocked shot. But before the game, Ohlund admitted, cryptically, he was not 100 percent:

"Most guys have something going on. Once I get on the ice, hopefully, it won't be a concern."

Lundin sent down: Mike Lundin was demoted to AHL Norfolk, but the defenseman, who played four games and averaged 16:59 of ice time, proved he belongs.

"He's a strong player," Tocchet said. "He chased down some of the best players in the world in (Ilya) Kovalchuk and (Marian) Gaborik. His poke check is as good as (Victor) Hedman. He's an NHL defenseman."

But he has a two-way contract and doesn't require re-entry waivers, both of which will work against him until the team unclogs its blue line.

Tampa Bay has nine defenseman on its roster, though with Paul Ranger on personal leave and Foster at forward, the numbers are more manageable.

Still, Tocchet said, "Somebody has to get moved. It's something we have to figure out soon."

Odds and ends: The game's biggest hit was when Colorado's Kyle Quincey put Stamkos over the boards and into the Lightning bench. Stamkos was shown smiling after the hit. … D Matt Smaby and LW Todd Fedoruk were scratched.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.

Tampa Bay Lightning power play loses its recent steam 11/30/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 1:28am]
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