ST. LOUIS — Lightning coach Guy Boucher has pretty much talked himself blue in the face trying to get his players to be better on the road.
He has changed the team's pregame routine to conform to that of last season, when it won 21 games away from home.
Nothing has worked.
Tampa Bay's 3-0 loss to the Blues on Saturday night at the Scottrade Center, which snapped the Lightning's three-game winning streak, was the latest installment.
"Very disappointing," Boucher said. "We got what we deserved, and that's nothing."
"It's the same game plan, the same preparation, the same everything," defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron said. "For whatever reason, we're losing on the road."
And losing ugly.
The Lightning is 8-6-2 overall but 3-5-2 on the road. It has been outscored 19-11 in the first period, including an embarrassing 17-8 on the road.
On Saturday, Tampa Bay was outshot 24-19 — the 19 shots are a season low — and at one point went 15 minutes, 7 seconds without a shot at goaltender Brian Elliott, who had little to do in getting his second shutout of the season and 11th of his career.
Fourteen minutes and four seconds of that was in a second period, in which Tampa Bay was outshot 11-2.
"We were awful," Boucher said.
Whether it was St. Louis' speed or strength, Tampa Bay in the second period just could not get possession of the puck in its end.
Ken Hitchcock, hired last week and in his third game as the Blues' coach, said the period was "the best we've played since I've been here."
"We just needed to stop some of their cycling," Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer said.
But Boucher was more blunt.
"We didn't show up, period," he said. "There's no other explanation than we didn't show up. The margin was gigantic, and that's why we looked so bad."
Especially on a crushing goal with 4.6 seconds left in the second period that gave the Blues a 2-0 lead.
Kevin Shattenkirk scored at the end of a two-on-one that began when Bruno Gervais' shot at the St. Louis blue line was blocked by Jamie Langenbrunner, who scooted past the defenseman.
Just as bad was St. Louis' third-period goal, short-handed by T.J. Oshie, who had an easy shot after Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon gave away the puck behind the net to David Backes.
"It's not one guy or two guys playing bad," Boucher said. "It's everybody."
"I've got two days to think about it," Boucher said, referencing Monday's game at Winnipeg. "You can't imagine how stubborn I am. We'll find a way."
First Period—1, St. Louis, Russell 3 (Grachev, Polak), 18:51. Penalties—Gilroy, TB (delay of game), 5:26; Sobotka, StL (interference), 11:17; Moore, TB (interference), 11:29; Shattenkirk, StL (holding), 12:48.
Second Period—2, St. Louis, Shattenkirk 2 (Steen, Langenbrunner), 19:54. Penalties—Stamkos, TB (slashing), 5:14; Shattenkirk, StL (slashing), 5:14; Moore, TB (roughing), 14:21.
Third Period—3, St. Louis, Oshie 5 (Backes), 6:26 (sh). Penalties—Jackman, StL (tripping), 5:11; Stamkos, TB (interference), 14:48; Steen, StL (hooking), 17:57; Nichol, StL (hooking), 19:51. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 6-2-11—19. St. Louis 6-11-7—24. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 0 of 5; St. Louis 0 of 3. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Garon 3-3-1 (24 shots-21 saves). St. Louis, Elliott 6-1-0 (19-19). A—19,150 (19,150). T—2:27. Referees—Chris Lee, Dean Morton. Linesmen—Greg Devorski, Scott Driscoll.