TAMPA — Another gradual start for the Lightning place them in a rut coming out of the first interval Saturday night in opposition to the Panthers at Amalie Arena.
And it was a rut the Lightning could not entirely escape, slipping 5-3. That consequence, blended with the Hurricanes’ earn above the Predators, rearranged the major three places in the Central Division. Tampa Bay (60 factors) fell to third, one position guiding 2nd-area Florida and two driving first-area Carolina.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper stated the chances were there for his workforce, substantially like they have been recently. And he assumed it performed superior than in Thursday’s 3-2 overtime get versus Florida.
But, he warned, just for the reason that the group “took a action forward,” that doesn’t imply all is perfectly.
“We just shot ourselves in the foot,” Cooper said just after the loss. “We did a lot of very good points, but we still gave up four and the vacant web is five. So you seriously just can’t equate that to playing a good activity. It was a stage ahead, and we did a great deal of great issues, but in the finish, you just can’t be giving those chances up, and you cannot be supplying those people aims up.”
Tampa Bay logged 31 shots on intention to Florida’s 32. The Lightning received 57 p.c (31 of 54) of the faceoffs, some thing Cooper claimed they would want to enhance on with the absence of injured captain Steven Stamkos (he’s 5 guiding Yanni Gourde’s crew-leading 238 faceoff wins).
“I imagined we didn’t commit a complete good deal of time in our D-zone,” centre Brayden Place reported. “I thought there ended up stretches the place we managed the recreation. Passes ended up on the tape, fellas appeared additional self-assured tonight building plays, and that is what we have to have. It is a action in the correct way. Obviously you want to gain games, but I feel over-all we were superior than we have been the previous few of game titles.”
The Panthers scored 8:41 into the first on a deflection from defenseman Brandon Montour. They scored once more 4 minutes afterwards when ideal wing Patric Hornqvist capitalized on their initial electric power play, obtaining an open internet previous Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Point slash it to 2-1 right after the puck deflected off his skate previous Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. But that momentum was stifled when Panthers middle Jonathan Huberdeau manufactured it 3-1 with eight seconds remaining.
Middle Frank Vatrano scored late in the 2nd to prolong the Panthers’ guide, but Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak answered fewer than two minutes afterwards with a intention from the proper faceoff circle, slicing the deficit to 4-2.
The momentum ongoing into the 3rd as proper wing Mathieu Joseph brought the Lightning within one particular, scoring just 1:53 into the period. But Florida left wing Anthony Duclair finished any drama with an empty-netter with 50 seconds left.
In the past 10 online games, the Lightning are 5-5. From Florida, they’re 3-3 and end the regular season with two video games at Dawn, May possibly 8 and 10.
“They’re a definitely good group,” Cooper stated. “They have a Corridor of Fame mentor (Joel Quenneville), and their team’s totally turned around. And the other issue is I think their finest players are enjoying their ideal hockey. … They’re a further workforce. They’ve bought some skill, and they are perfectly-coached. There is a reason why they are up in the standings, and they have earned to be.”
Facilities Alex Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau have 45 points each to guide the Panthers. Hornqvist is fourth with 30, driving previous Lightning centre Carter Verhaeghe (35), who is 7 days to 7 days with an higher-entire body injuries.
Despite their new struggles, the Lightning see purpose for optimism.
“(The end result) can be irritating, for certain,” Issue stated. “But I consider just the actuality that we had been making, we were skating, and I just liked our team’s, our group’s self-assurance. I thought we were superior with the puck tonight … and we had been significantly a lot more responsible with our fellas, also.”
To start with Period—1, Florida, Montour 6 (Bennett), 8:41. 2, Florida, Hornqvist 14 (Gusev, Barkov), 12:31 (pp). 3, Tampa Bay, Point 18 (Palat, Sergachev), 13:40. 4, Florida, Huberdeau 15 (Bennett, Nutivaara), 19:52. Penalties—Montour, FLA (Large Sticking), 4:57 Barkov, FLA (Hooking), 9:32 Tampa Bay bench, served by Maroon (Also A lot of Adult men on the Ice), 11:47.
Next Period—5, Florida, Vatrano 15, 17:34. 6, Tampa Bay, Cernak 3 (Hedman, Coleman), 19:15. Penalties—Johnson, TB (Hooking), 9:14 Johnson, TB (Hooking), 15:01.
3rd Period—7, Tampa Bay, Joseph 11 (Point, Hedman), 1:53. 8, Florida, Duclair 6 (Gudas), 19:10 (en). Penalties—None.
Pictures on Goal—Florida 11-11-10_32. Tampa Bay 15-7-9_31. Ability-play opportunities—Florida 1 of 3 Tampa Bay of 2. Goalies—Florida, Bobrovsky 15-7-2 (31 pictures-28 saves). Tampa Bay, Vasilevskiy 26-6-1 (31-27). T—2:23. Referees—Peter MacDougall, Furman South. Linesmen—Shandor Alphonso, Jonny Murray.
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