1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Lightning return home, falter 6-2 to Colorado Avalanche

Little goes right for Tampa Bay, which is dominated by Colorado.
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) is beaten (again) by Colorado Avalanche center Tyson Jost (17) for the go-ahead goal (2-1) during the second period Saturday at Amalie Arena. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Oct. 20
Updated Oct. 20

TAMPA — Sleeping in your own bed is one thing, but waking up is another. And from the looks of it, the Lightning hit the snooze button Saturday night.

The Avalanche dominated in a 6-2 win at Amalie Arena in front of a sellout crowd of 19,092, the Lightning’s first game home after a six-game road trip.

A competitive first period turned into a frustrating second for Tampa Bay (4-3-1), a period that featured Colorado scoring three times in 2:49 to take a 4-1 lead. The third period left little to be desired.

The Lightning’s shots were lifeless, their turnovers abundant. Puck management went out the window.

The Lightning were simply outplayed.

“It’s a learning experience,” Anthony Cirelli said. “In this league, you have to play a full 60 minutes, and we took a few minutes off, and (they) capitalized on those chances.”

Kevin Shattenkirk harped on the four minor penalties the Lightning took, the kind they are trying to “bleed out” of their game.

“In our mind, there’s obviously good penalties and bad penalties,” he said. “There’s hard-working penalties and ones that you feel like you need to kill off for your teammate because he was working hard and trying to make the right play.”

The Avalanche were quick to strike, scoring the opening goal in the first 3:30 of the game. Tyson Jost grabbed the puck off a defensive turnover and outnumbered the Lightning on a sprint to the net, getting his second goal of the season.

Tampa Bay got a spark when Yanni Gourde tapped in the puck off a shot from Shattenkirk and a touch from McDonagh, tying the score at 1 at 17:35.

But in the second period, Jost tallied Colorado’s second and fourth goals of the night for his first career hat trick, and Gabriel Landeskog got on the board with Colorado’s third goal.

“Once you get the momentum shift like that, it’s hard to get back from,” the Lightning’s Tyler Johnson said.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) and Colorado Avalanche left wing Matt Calvert (11) are separated after fighting during the third period. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times]

Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point were quiet, not registering a point on 14 shots combined of the Lightning’s 46.

Kucherov was awarded a third-period penalty shot on a breakaway, but he harmlessly backhanded the shot over the net. It was the third time he missed a penalty shot this season.

Fans started to vacate Amalie Arena in the third period when Colorado’s Nazem Kadri got a shot past Andrei Vasilevskiy for a 5-1 lead.

It appeared Tampa Bay just couldn’t get its footing in the game.

“We were chasing the game a lot,” Shattenkirk said.

“I think when we look at it, we had a lot of quality shots. I think if a handful of those go in, it’s a much different game. When we do generate a lot of shots, with the way this team plays, they’re usually pretty good chances. We can’t get away from it just because it didn’t pay off.”

Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde (37), defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27), goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88), and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) are stunned by the Colorado Avalanche's fifth goal. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times]

A shot from Shattenkirk paid off later in the third. He shot from the point, and Victor Hedman deflected the puck in from the crease to make it 5-2.

Colorado put the exclamation point on the evening with its sixth goal, when Mikko Rantanen got the puck past Vasilevskiy and Hedman.

“We had a lot of chances,” coach Jon Cooper said. “It’s not like the chances weren’t there. But all that matters is how many go in the net, and (Colorado) had way more than us.”

Johnson knows that last season’s Lightning got some wins it shouldn’t have with the way it played and this year’s team can’t expect the same results.

“It’s a long season and a lot of learning,” Cirelli said. “We have a couple of days here to get better.”

The Lightning next plays Wednesday against the Penguins.

Avalanche 1-3-2—6

Lightning 1-0-1—2

First Period—1, Colorado, Jost 2 (Girard, Wilson), 3:09. 2, Tampa Bay, Gourde 1 (Shattenkirk, McDonagh), 17:35.

Second Period—3, Colorado, Jost 3 (Compher, Wilson), 3:17. 4, Colorado, Landeskog 3 (Rantanen, MacKinnon), 5:48. 5, Colorado, Jost 4 (Wilson, Compher), 6:06.

Third Period—6, Colorado, Kadri 3 (Makar), 6:30. 7, Tampa Bay, Hedman 1 (Killorn, Shattenkirk), 11:48. 8, Colorado, Rantanen 5, 14:27.

Shots on Goal—Colorado 6-10-8_24. Tampa Bay 12-16-18_46.

Power-play opportunities—Colorado 0 of 2 Tampa Bay 0 of 2.

Goalies—Colorado, Francouz 2-0-0 (46 shots-44 saves). Tampa Bay, Vasilevskiy 4-2-0 (24-18).

A—19,092 (19,092). T—2:34.


  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.”