For the first time in eight years, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been shutout in back-to-back games. After falling 4-0 at home to Carolina on Saturday, the Lightning followed that up with a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday to kick off their two-game road trip.
The loss for Tampa Bay stands as their third consecutive in regulation. Last season, the Lightning dropped three games in a row in regulation just two times.
The Lightning were much better offensively than were on Saturday against Carolina. You could even argue the that they deserved a better fate than losing 5-0 in this one. Jordan Binnington was outstanding Tuesday night, stopping all 30 Lightning shots that came his way. Binnington has always been strong against the Lightning for some reason as Tuesday was his second career shutout over Tampa Bay and his first overall this season.
The Lightning carried the play for a lot of the game and even went on to create more scoring chances than St. Louis with 45 compared to 23 for the Blues. It was not just Binnington keeping the Lightning off the scoresheet as there were a multiple bounces that just did not go the Lightning’s way. The Lightning’s bad luck was best exhibited by Tanner Jeannot’s shot into an open net hitting a body on the way in and staying out in the third period.
Going Down Early
In the Lightning’s seven games so far in November, they have surrendered the opening goal in the first period in five of those games. Of those five games, the Lightning would go on to win just once. Getting down early is obviously something hurting this team at the moment.
In these last two games where the Lightning have not been able to break through offensively, they have not been helped by having to play from behind and chase the game. After a 1-0 first period hole, the Lightning were still in the game Tuesday but this time the second period was the back breaker. The Blues converted two goals in 19 seconds and that pretty much put the game out of reach after 40 minutes.
Tough Place to Play
St. Louis has always been one of the most difficult buildings for the Lightning in their history. They have won just five times overall in St. Louis and just three times since 2011. Tuesday also marked the fourth time that the Lightning have been shutout in St. Louis in their 24 games there in franchise history. To say the least, the Blues home barn has been a house of horrors for Tampa Bay.
The central division rinks as a whole have been tough for the Lightning in recent years and they will have to head to another one Thursday in Chicago. The Lightning and Blackhawks will meet for the second time in a week after the Blackhawks defeated the Lightning 5-3 in Tampa to begin their three game slide.