1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Chippy play continues Lightning penalty woes

Tampa Bay racks up 18 penalty minutes in Saturday’s 6-2 loss to Colorado.
Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92), left, and Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) tussle behind the Colorado net during the second period Saturday at Amalie Arena. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
Published Oct. 20

TAMPA — Penalties plagued Tampa Bay over their recent six-game road trip, leading to nine power-play goals in 24 chances for the opposition.

Penalty troubles continued early in Saturday night’s 6-2 loss to the Avalanche at Amalie Arena when defenseman Braydon Coburn went to the box for slashing 4:33 in with his team down 1-0. But the Lightning killed off the power play.

Entering the game, the Lightning had 31 penalties through its first seven games, tied with the Sabres and Canucks for the ninth-highest total in the league. Their penalty-kill percentage, 67.8, ranked 28th, ahead of the Predators, Kings and Jets.

“We’ve just got to make sure that we stay out of the box,” defenseman Victor Hedman said before the game. “It starts with not taking unnecessary penalties.”

After Tampa Bay killed Colorado’s first power-play chance, it made five more trips to the penalty box as play grew chippier throughout the night. It finished with 18 penalty minutes — 10 coming on two fighting majors — and held the Avalanche scoreless on their two power plays.

Defenseman Erik Cernak landed in the box after a fight with Colorado forward Matt Calvert within the first two minutes of the second period. Later in the period, a pair of roughing penalties sent Tampa Bay’s Anthony Cirelli and Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog off the ice. With less than a minute remaining, fans already streaming toward the exits and the Lightning down by four goals, Calvert and Hedman capped the night with one last brawl.

Tampa Bay finished the game with 18 penalty minutes, increasing its season average to nearly 11 per game, but held Colorado scoreless in their two power-play opportunities. Four Lightning penalties — Cernak and Hedman’s fighting, Cirelli’s roughing and Ondrej Palat’s tripping — did not result in power-play chances for Colorado because they were accompanied by offsetting penalties for the Avalanche.

Colorado’s second power play, coming after a Luke Witkowski crosscheck against Avalanche forward Tyson Jost early in the third period, lasted less than 30 seconds. A hooking penalty sent Landeskog to the box, promptly ending Colorado’s second and final power play opportunity of the night.

The Avalanche did their damage, all six goals-worth, without the advantage of extra numbers on the ice.

Contact Ryan Kolakowski at Follow @RyanKolakowski


  1. Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock reacts as his team plays the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in Toronto. NATHAN DENETTE  |  AP
    The struggling Maple Leafs are 9-10-4 this season. Sheldon Keefe, coach of the AHL Toronto Marlies, takes over.
  2. The Lightning were making progress in four good games but turned the puck over too much against St. Louis
  3. Nikita Kucherov left Tuesday's game in the second period but is expected to return to the lineup as soon as Thursday. Tampa Bay Times
    The reigning Hart Trophy winner left Tuesday’s loss to St. Louis after a big hit from Brayden Schenn
  4. St. Louis Blues' Ivan Barbashev looks for a shot past Tampa Bay Lightning's Victor Hedman during the second period of an NHL game Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in St. Louis. JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP
    The reigning MVP left the game late in the second period and did not return.
  5. Tampa Bay Lightning's Pat Maroon (14) is unable to score past St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and Mackenzie MacEachern (28) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in St. Louis. JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP
    Maroon helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup last season. On Tuesday night in St. Louis, they took what is usually a private ceremony and went public for a hometown hero.
  6. New Jersey Devils' Nico Hischier, right, (13) defends Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos (91) during the second period of a game Oct. 30 in Newark, N.J. FRANK FRANKLIN II  |  AP
    Stamkos has not missed a game since April 2017.
  7. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81) before an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP
    Tampa Bay’s second-year defenseman is primed to take on an even bigger role.
  8. Long faces dominate some of the remaining Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans during the fourth quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Tampa. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What remaining game will Tampa Bay be favored to win?
  9. The Lightning hosted 5,000 middle school students at Friday's practice. Courtesy of Everfi
    Slap Shots: Plus, thoughts on the Hockey Hall of Fame, a scary moment in Calgary and Military Appreciation Night.
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrates with the bench after his goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP
    Victor Hedman calls the milestone “an unreal accomplishment by an unreal player.”