It was the same story, next day for the Lightning, who found themselves on the wrong side of a 2-1 score for the second night in a row in Boston. It was a similar game, with each team playing tight hockey with few mistakes. Also like last night, the Lightning made the last mistake, and it cost them again.
Starting with the positives, the Bolts’ offense wasn’t completely absent tonight. They managed 28 shots on goal, a vast improvement from the 18 they mustered last night. The Lightning also looked very well-conditioned, using a lot of speed. They kept up with the Bruins the entire game. Eric Brewer also got his first goal with Tampa Bay.
Also in the good news department, Mike Smith didn’t look rusty at all. He stopped 26 or 28 Boston shots, which would be enough to win most nights. Also, the penalty kill was perfect, killing off all three penalties the team took.
On to the negatives. The Lightning’s normally potent extra-man unit came up empty on four opportunities. Last night, the only goal they could muster came on the power play. While it is good that the Lightning were able to get an even-strength goal, the fact that they only got one is something they must break out of.
Another point of concern for Tampa Bay is injuries. Steven Downie left the game early tonight, and he may join a list with Vinny Lecavalier, Ryan Malone, Lundin, and Bergeron. With that many injuries to key players, the Lightning are going to have to fight for offense wherever they can.
What is frustrating about tonight’s game is that there were chances. The Lightning rang a couple of posts and created a lot of traffic. They had offensive opportunities that wouldn’t go, and despite the better effort, they got the same result as last night. They now sit third in the conference, just one point ahead of the Capitals (who beat the Blues 3-2 tonight).
1st: Milan Lucic (GWG)
2nd: Johnny Boychuk
3rd: Tim Thomas
Highlights courtesy of NHL.com