The Tampa Bay Lightning’s three game home stand ended with a 3-2 overtime defeat at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets Wednesday night. Tampa Bay ended up taking five of the possible six points at home and have points in four straight overall.
At the Thanksgiving mark, the Lightning find themselves well within the playoff picture in third place in the Atlantic Division. Tampa Bay has played more games than anybody else in the division but to be in the spot they are without Andrei Vasilevskiy is still very impressive.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Back to Struggling in OT
After getting their first overtime win of the season Monday night against Boston, the Lightning’s overtime struggles resumed Wednesday. The Lightning struggled to manage the puck in the overtime despite winning two of the four faceoffs. Winnipeg generated pretty much all of the scoring chances in the extra frame as the Lightning were held to just one shot officially.
After the game, Jon Cooper noted that there were “endless breakdowns” in the overtime period. Tampa Bay was not able to manage the puck well enough as Winnipeg was able to create several dangerous chances with the game winner coming on a two-on-one breakdown in close.
Salvaging a Point
For the second time in three games, the Lightning went down 2-0 in the first period. In both of those games, the Lightning have come back to tie. After a slow start, the Lightning played a solid game after going down early and played well enough to earn a point. If not for a strong performance in the Winnipeg net by Connor Hellebuyck, the Lightning could have gotten a pair of points as he stopped 31 of 33 Lightning shots.
While their overtime struggles have been disappointing, the silver lining has been that the Lightning have done well to earn points in games where they could have easily lost in regulation. Through 21 games, the Lightning have lost only six times in regulation. They have managed to bank a fair amount of points by getting to overtime and that has helped boost their spot in the standings.
Scalding Hot Power Play
After going down 2-0 on Wednesday, the Lightning power play was huge in getting them back in the game. Steven Stamkos’s one-timer on the power play cut the deficit in half five minutes after going down by two goals. Nikita Kucherov once again was the man on the assist as the Lightning power play continues to roll.
The Lightning power play unit is currently second in the league and hitting at over 30%. It has been a huge factor in coming from behind in games and winning games. Tampa Bay had just one power play on Wednesday. If they had one more, there is a very strong chance they could have potentially won in regulation.