Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Lightning fall to Carolina Hurricanes for third straight loss

On the wrong end of another one-goal game, this one 3-2, they have a season-high losing streak.
Carolina Hurricanes right wing Andrei Svechnikov (37) moves the puck in front of Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) during the first period Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
Carolina Hurricanes right wing Andrei Svechnikov (37) moves the puck in front of Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) during the first period Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa. [CHRIS O'MEARA | AP]
Published Dec. 1, 2019
Updated Dec. 1, 2019

TAMPA — Three straight losses. Three straight one-goal games. The Lightning are playing at a tight margin, and they’ve been ending up on the wrong side of it recently.

The Lightning fell to the Hurricanes 3-2 on Saturday night at Amalie Arena. That’s after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Capitals and one by the same score to the Blues in regulation.

Related: MORE LIGHTNING: Braydon Coburn and Alex Killorn both missing with lower-body injuries

Coach Jon Cooper looks at these games from a defensive perspective: The Lightning (12-9-3) are giving up one too many goals a game. Steven Stamkos said they have too many offensive chances to not score more.

Both things might be true.

Cooper broke it down thusly: Four goals against is probably going to mean trouble. Three and the game could go either way. One or two and you’ve put yourself in a good position to win.

“You just can’t keep giving up that number of goals, and we are,” he said. “It’s costing us, even a team that can score goals, so we have to limit that extra goal.”

Scoring may be fun, he said, but “in this league, it’s not how many you score, it’s how many you keep out.”

His logic checks out. The Lightning have won all seven games in which they’ve allowed one or two goals. They’ve won four of six games in which they allowed three. When giving up four or more goals, they’re 1-8-2.

Too many of those goals against have come on avoidable mistakes. Carolina’s first goal — from Sebastian Aho on a shot that goalie Curtis McElhinney couldn’t get all of — came after a Lightning too-many-men penalty early in the first period. The second goal — by Justin Martinook on a rush — came off a turnover on a slow line change not three minutes after the first goal.

“It’s in the details,” Stamkos said. “There’s only so much we can talk about, and we’re sick of talking about it. We have to do it out there. We weren’t ready to start the game.”

He put it on himself: As the captain, he said, he needs to lead the way as far as doing the right things.

The Lightning gave up all three Hurricanes goals in the first, then faced an uphill climb as they turned in two of the better periods they’ve played this season. They had strong scoring chances. Again, Stamkos put it on himself first.

“I should have had probably two or three (Saturday), so I have to put that on myself,” he said. “I had too many Grade A’s not to score. We had enough chances to win the game.”

Stamkos led the team with eight shots on net, but he didn’t score. He hasn’t scored in his past three games in which he has played. (He sat out the three before Friday with an injury.)

Tyler Johnson finally broke his goal-less streak. He hadn’t scored in 11 games when he wristed the puck past goalie James Reimer to make it 3-1 8:50 into the third. The forward said he couldn’t remember a stretch in which had had so many Grade A chances without a goal. He was “ticked off” he hadn’t scored more.

The Lightning should expect to see more of these close, one-goal games rather than fewer. In the past month, they have played only one game against a team in playoff contention that has been decided by more than a single goal, the Nov. 1 5-2 loss to the Islanders.

“That’s what it’s going to be when you’re playing against good teams,” Johnson said. “Most of the time (the games are) not going to be 5-2. It’s going to be a one-goal game, so you have to find a way to win those.”

Hurricanes 3-0-0—3

Lightning 0-0-2—2

First Period—1, Carolina, Aho 13 (Hamilton, Svechnikov), 4:49 (pp). 2, Carolina, Martinook 1 (Slavin, Bishop), 7:30. 3, Carolina, Slavin 3 (Aho, Hamilton), 19:53. Penalties—Tampa Bay bench, served by Verhaeghe (too many men on the ice), 4:11 van Riemsdyk, CAR, (holding), 16:58.

Second Period—None. Penalties—McGinn, CAR, (roughing), 0:39 Bishop, CAR, (tripping), 3:46.

Third Period—4, Tampa Bay, Point 10 (Hedman, Kucherov), 3:26 (pp). 5, Tampa Bay, Johnson 5 (Sergachev, Cirelli), 8:50. Penalties—Gardiner, CAR, (holding), 2:39 Edmundson, CAR, (high sticking), 5:50 Gourde, TB, (tripping), 10:02 Dzingel, CAR, (hooking), 10:09 Stamkos, TB, (hooking), 14:34 Hedman, TB, (slashing), 19:25 Maroon, TB, Misconduct (misconduct), 19:25.

Shots on Goal—Carolina 12-10-3_25. Tampa Bay 9-14-15_38. Power-play opportunities—Carolina 1 of 4 Tampa Bay 1 of 6. Goalies—Carolina, Reimer 5-4-0 (38 shots-36 saves). Tampa Bay, McElhinney 3-2-2 (24-21).

A—19,092 (19,092). T—2:29.

Referees—Garrett Rank, Francois St Laurent. Linesmen—Bevan Mills, Jonny Murray.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn, center, skates past Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point, left, and shoots the game-winning goal past goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, right, during overtime of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. Dallas won, 3-2. [RAY CARLIN  |  AP]
    Both Benn goals came off steals, the last in overtime to spoil Tampa Bay’s return from the All-Star break.
  2. Dallas Stars center Jason Dickinson, right, controls the puck on Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette, left, during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. [RAY CARLIN  |  AP]
    Tampa Bay had played a lot of games and needed some rest, but the break also broke up a great run.
  3. New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (76) celebrates after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in an NHL hockey game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Newark, N.J. The Devils won 3-1. [ADAM HUNGER  |  AP]
    Diana C Nearhos | Coming out of the all-star break is a good time to re-evaluate those predictions and make some new ones.
  4. Calgary Flames defender Mark Giordano (5), Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (29) and Calgary Flames goalie David Rittich (33) celebrate after the Pacific Division beat the Atlantic Division 5-4 to win the NHL All-Star final on Saturday in St. Louis. [SCOTT KANE  |  AP]
    “It’s a young man’s game now in the NHL, and these guys, they’re superstars,” Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin says.
  5. Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) makes his third NHL All-Star Game appearance Saturday in St. Louis. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    NHL all-stars and players around the league praise the Lightning goalie for his size and athleticism, and for making both desperation and “boring” saves.
  6. Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov, center, smiles as he is congratulated by teammate Steven Stamkos, left, and Erik Karlsson, right, after scoring a "no shot" goal for a hat trick during the NHL All-Star game Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018 in Tampa, Fla. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    Embrace players’ creativity with a shootout competition and hockey H-O-R-S-E.
  7. Tampa Bay center Anthony Cirelli doesn't necessarily have All-Star Game flair, but his importance to  the Lightning is never in doubt. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The Lightning have too many stars for everyone to be an all-star and they aren’t the only team with that issue.
  8. FILE – In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 file photo, the Philadelphia Flyers' mascot, Gritty, performs during an NHL hockey game in Philadelphia. Chris Greenwell has alleged that the mascot punched his 13-year-old son, Brandon, after a photo shoot in November. The Incident is under investigation. [DERIK HAMILTON                        |  AP]
    The Flyers mascot is accused of punching a 13-year-old “as hard as he could.”
  9. United States' Kendall Coyne skates during the Skills Competition, part of the NHL All-Star weekend, in San Jose, Calif., Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. [BEN MARGOT  |  AP]
    Diana C. Nearhos | Women’s hockey is at a crossroads as players try to figure out what kind of professional league they want.
  10. Vegas Golden Knights NHL hockey team general manager Kelly McCrimmon holds a news conference in Ottawa, Wednesday, Jan 15, 2020. Head coach Gerard Gallant was fired less than two years after leading the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final. Peter DeBoer will be the coach for the rest of the season. [SEAN KILPATRICK  |  AP]
    Diana C. Nearhos | The NHL looks like musical chairs for coaches. Get to know Cedric Paquette.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement