The Tampa Bay Lightning’s one game at home ended up in their third consecutive regulation loss Thursday night. Tampa Bay came away with no points again in a game they played well in for a lot of the game. The lapses in their game proved very costly as they fell 4-2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
To add insult to injury, the Lightning surrendered the 17th goalie goal in NHL history as Tristan Jarry sent the puck nearly the full length of the ice into the empty net. Jarry’s goal came with just over a minute remaining and capped off what ended up being an ugly ending to the night for Tampa Bay
Squandering a Great Start
The Lightning played a great first period Thursday night, one of thief best periods of the season. After allowing the first goal in each of their last four games, the Lightning scored the opening goal Thursday as well as the second and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Nikita Kucherov was all over the place as he assisted on both goals.
Tampa Bay dominated the opening period as they outshot Pittsburgh 17-5. Jarry had a strong first period to keep the game close in the first. Jarry would not give up another goal as Pittsburgh would account for the next four goals in the game as the Lightning were dealt just their second loss of the season when they have scored the first goal of the game.
After the Lightning played a great opening period, things went downhill in the second while trying to push their lead to 3-0. Two turnovers in the offensive zone by Nikita Kucherov resulted in a breakaway for Sidney Crosby and a two-on-one opportunity for Evgeni Malkin. In case you have not heard, those are two of the best players of all time and the last players on Pittsburgh you want to just give chances to.
The turnovers in the second period completely undid what had been a great performance to that point for Tampa Bay.
“At times in the game we made crazy poor decisions” said Jon Cooper after the game.
One positive way to look at things for Tampa Bay is that a lot of what has been dooming them in recent games have been self inflicted. Those mistakes have been ending up in their own net with regularity of late. It has not been opponents really beating the Lightning, it has been the Lightning beating themselves. When all three traditional goals against are off the rush, it is clear that the breakdowns in their game have been where they are getting burned.
The trend has been that Tampa Bay has played well for a lot of games but the lapses in their games and the mistakes have been amplified as many have lead directly to goals against and losses. Steven Stamkos added after the game that they need to just simply things sometimes.