TAMPA—The Lightning played the Maple Leafs much better than last time, but the result was flipped.
Coach Jon Cooper suggested Thursday night the Lightning had a few break downs that turned into goals in a game it played well enough to win, whereas back in Dec. the opposite was the case.
Either way, Thursday's game ended in a 4-2 Lightning loss.
Here are some odds and ends from the loss:
Johnson hurt. Tyler Johnson left during the second period and he didn't come back for the third. He ended up with just 9:05 of ice time while linemates Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov had 24:03 and 25:29 respectively. Cooper said it was a lower-body injury that would need to be reevaluated.
Point scores first. Brayden Point jumped on the rebound of Victor Hedman's rocket shot midway through the first period to put the Lightning up 1-0.
First to 30-30. Point is now the only player to record at least 30 goals and 30 assists this season. He has 30 goals and 32 assists. Last year, he had 32 goals all season.
No-look, behind-the-back. What is this H-O-R-S-E? Nikita Kucherov made another tricky assist. He took the puck to his forehand, as if he were continuing to skate. Instead, he tapped it backward to Hedman. The defenseman then landed a nice wrist shot to tie the game 2-2 in the second period.
Out of play? The Lightning thought the puck was out of play on Zach Hyman's empty-netter. The puck took a weird bounce off the glass or a stanchion. Hedman and Steven Stamkos threw their arms up to call it out of play, but play continued. The officials reviewed the play and the goal stood.
Vasilevskiy solid in net. Because of course, Andrei Vasilevskiy made a couple of big saves, including one on Auston Matthews that came through someone's legs to get to the net. In all, Vasilevskiy made 27 saves on 30 shots.
A lot of shots. The Lightning outshot the Maple Leafs 38-31. More incredibly, Stamkos and Hedman combined for almost half of those shots. Stamkos had 10 and Hedman eight.
Here and loud. Amalie Arena was full of blue on Thursday but it wasn't on Lightning blue. The Maple Leafs fans were out in force and made their presence known, from singing along with "O Canada" to "Go Leafs Go!"
In and out. Matheiu Joseph and Braydon Coburn sat out as the Lightning continue to rotate the lineup. Joseph is the first forward to sit twice since the rotation began. Danick Martel continues to be a consistent scratch, not a part of the rotation.