Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Under different leadership, Lightning falls again

WINNIPEG — Their coach was fired, their general manager explained how much they still had to play for, and then Lightning players had to face the Jets in the second of back-to-back games.

"An emotional day," assistant coach Dan Lacroix said.

And it ultimately was disappointing as Tampa Bay fell 3-2 Sunday night at the MTS Centre to finish a Canadian trip 0-3-0.

But there was solace in that the team played one of its better games in a while. It certainly had more passion and urgency than in losses Wednesday and Saturday to the Maple Leafs and Senators, respectively, that helped get coach Guy Boucher fired.

In fact, if not for goaltender Ondrej Palat, who made 23 saves, the Lightning (13-18-1) might have won with Lacroix and fellow assistants Marty Raymond and Steve Thomas running the bench.

"I'm proud of the guys," center Steven Stamkos said. "I definitely thought we played a solid game. I thought we deserved a little better fate."

Stamkos scored his league-best 22nd goal. Marty St. Louis' assist gave him 892 points to tie ex-Capital Peter Bondra for 100th all time. And Cory Conacher's tip-in of Eric Brewer's floater 5:01 into the third made the score 3-2.

But Pavelec was a monster, especially when he stopped Conacher's backhander on a second-period breakaway with a lunging glove save.

"We wanted to win this game for the coaching staff that was on the bench," Conacher said, and then tipped his hat to Pavelec. "A great save."

"It's a tight group in the room," Lacroix said. "They decided to play hard and play together. They gave it everything they had and just came up short."

The day began with the news Boucher had been fired followed by a meeting with GM Steve Yzerman.

After stressing, "We all share the responsibility of where we sit today," Yzerman added, "There's a lot to play for. There's fighting for a playoff spot, playing for your teammates, playing for your own job, playing for your position."

The Lightning made mistakes.

Stamkos' errors led to two goals as he had the puck poked off his stick in the defensive zone by Blake Wheeler before Bryan Little's first-period goal. He also in the defensive zone lost track of Tobias Enstrom, who was free in the slot to score on goalie Cedrick Desjardins for a 3-1 second-period lead.

But overall, the Lightning had the better of play. Pavelec was just up to the task.

Said center Nate Thompson: "I thought he stole the game for them."

Jets 1 2 0 3
Lightning 0 1 1 2

First Period1, Winnipeg, Little 5 (Wheeler), 14:02. PenaltiesNone.

Second Period2, Winnipeg, Byfuglien 6 (Wheeler, Little), 2:35 (pp). 3, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 22 (St. Louis, Salo), 6:20 (pp). 4, Winnipeg, Enstrom 3 (Ladd, Little), 9:35. PenaltiesJohnson, TB (tripping), 2:24; Thorburn, Wpg (kneeing), 6:13; Labrie, TB (hooking), 7:10; Bogosian, Wpg, double minor (high-sticking), 9:13; St. Louis, TB (high-sticking), 9:21; Antropov, Wpg (slashing), 14:22.

Third Period5, Tampa Bay, Conacher 9 (Brewer), 5:01. PenaltiesWheeler, Wpg (goaltender interference), 3:22; Purcell, TB (hooking), 3:47. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 12-7-6—25. Winnipeg 8-9-7—24. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 1 of 5; Winnipeg 1 of 3. GoaliesTampa Bay, Desjardins 0-3-0 (24 shots-21 saves). Winnipeg, Pavelec 14-14-2 (25-23). A15,004 (15,004). Referees—Marc Joannette, Rob Martell. LinesmenVaughan Rody, Thor Nelson.

Under different leadership, Lightning falls again 03/24/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 12:17am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon


    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

    Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.
  2. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  3. Four key games that could decide Bucs' success in 2017


    The Bucs finished so close to making the playoffs in 2016 -- literally flip-flop the last two results and have them beat the Saints and lose to the Panthers and they're in as a wild card with the same 9-7 record -- that it's difficult to say with any certainty what will happen in the 2017 season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, shown celebrating a touchdown against the Giants in 2015, will face New York again this fall in Week 4 in Tampa.
  4. Frank Deford wrote with sincerity, giving depth to complicated sports figures

    Human Interest

    Frank Deford practically invented the notion of multimedia: He exported his voice to radio, TV and film, and if you didn't know him you might have thought he was an actor, because he wore purple suits and looked like Clark Gable. But Frank, who died Sunday at age 78, was a writer above all things, and an important …

    In a 1991 photo, Frank Deford holds a proof of The National Sports Daily, of which he was editor and publisher [Associated Press]
  5. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire


    After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.