The Tampa Bay Lightning fell in a shootout in their first matchup against a western conference opponent as the Colorado Avalanche came away with the two points on the road. Tampa Bay once again got down early and were forced to come from behind on multiple occasions.
Getting just a single point out of this one was somewhat of a successful result all told for the Lightning. They were forced to come from behind three different times and needed a late goal with an empty net from Brayden Point to force overtime.
Here’s what we took away from this one:
1. Getting Down Early
The Lightning have surrendered the opening goal in all five games they have played. Despite having two wins, the Lightning have yet to lead for a single minute this season. Both wins have come in overtime and have required late comebacks. The fact they have collected five of the possible 10 points on the season despite never holding a lead is impressive. This is obviously a trend which simply cannot continue.
2. Powerplay Empty Again
After struggling on the man advantage Tuesday against Florida, the Lightning powerplay came up empty again Saturday night. Tampa Bay was unsuccessful on their three looks on the powerplay. Without Nikita Kucherov, they have been forced to realign their powerplay unit. Corey Perry has been seeing action with the top unit and Point got his first opportunity on the right side in Kucherov’s typical spot.
3. Back and Forth
The Colorado Avalanche are one of the best teams in the NHL and the Lightning could expect the best from the Avs who were also coming in off a loss to Florida. Colorado was able to persevere through losing a one goal lead on three separate occasions Saturday night. While the Lightning kept pushing back, they were unable to cash in on their chances in overtime and Andrei Vasilevskiy suffered a rare shootout defeat.
4. Schedule Ramping Up
Following the shootout defeat to the Avalanche, the Lightning are now looking at three games in four nights. A back-to-back lies ahead on Monday and Tuesday on the road in Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Monday will likely be the first chance we see Brian Elliott in the Lightning crease. This will be the first test for him and the Lightning as the schedule begins to intensify.
5. Stamkos Ties Lecavalier
Steven Stamkos found the back of the net in the third period Saturday night to tie Vinny Lecavalier for second all-time in Lightning scoring. The 874th career point for Stammer brings another moment of reflection on how remarkable his career has been. Only Marty St. Louis is ahead of Stammer and Vinny with 953 points in a Lightning sweater. In time, Stamkos will capture that mark as well. He already owns the franchise goal record and surely, we will see the next milestone come soon enough.