The Tampa Bay Lightning have been struggling lately, especially on this four game road trip. While they have improved on mostly every issue, it’s the turnovers that are killing them. Turnovers have been a major problem. A turnover cost them the Boston Bruins game, and turnovers allowed the Penguins to skate all over them last night. While Steven Stamkos continues to net goals as often as I change my mood, which is often, the Lightning continue to fall in the standings. I will say this about yesterday’s broadcast, NBC Sports did a good job covering the game. While I still can’t stand Pierre McGuire, Mike Millbury, or any of their band of morons, they restrained themselves from talking trash about Tampa like they usually do. They even talked quite favorably about the Bolts! They complimented the goaltending, talked about players other than Stamkos, and even said nice things about the fan base. It wasn’t until the post game show that I felt like throwing a shoe at the TV in order to hit Millbury.
Evgeni Malkin made his return with an unassisted goal. Sami Salo returned to the Lightning line up. Ondrej Palat made his NHL debut with an assist to Tom Pyatt‘s nose goal. They have the goal as Pyatts by a wrist shot, but it was a nose shot. The puck literally deflected off of his nose and flew into the net. Ryan Malone continued to be on the Injured Reserve list, and Mathieu Garon left the ice early in the second with a lower body injury.
Here’s a quick recap of last night’s game:
4:02 PIT Derek Engelland 5 minute major for fighting
4:02 TBL Pierre-Cedric Labrie 5 minute major for fighting
4:13 PIT Chris Kunitz (12th point) slap shot assisted by Sidney Crosby (25th)
13:57 Keith Aulie 2 minutes for interference
16:18 PIT Derek Engelland 2 minutes for cross checking
16:18 TBL Martin St. Louis 2 minutes for cross checking
00:15 TBL Victor Hedman 2 minutes for tripping
2:39 TBL Steven Stamkos (16th) tip in assisted by Victor Hedman (7th) and Martin St. Louis (22nd point)
11:59 TBL Tom Pyatt (5th) nose shot … ok, wrist shot assisted by Nate Thompson (2nd) and Ondrej Palat (1st point) and Tom’s nose (1st)
13:47 TBL Eric Brewer 2 minutes for hooking
3:00 PIT Matt Nishkanen 2 minutes for interference
5:38 PIT Evgeni Malkin (5th point) wrist shot unassisted
7:29 PIT Sidney Crosby (11th point) snap shot assisted by Kris Letang (17th point)
19:08 PIT James Neal (14th point) empty net wrist shot assisted by Evgeni Malkin (18th) and Kris Letang (18th)
19:52 TBL Steven Stamkos (17th) backhand assisted by Vincent Lecavalier (12st) and Martin St. Louis (23)
The total shots on goal were Tampa Bay 28 and Pittsburgh 32.
Tonight the Bolts look to snap their losing streak in New Jersey.