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Lightning Drop Very Winnable Game to Detroit, Fall further behind Toronto

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost 4-3 to the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night. Once again there were stretches in the game where Tampa Bay did a lot of good things, but were unable to put a complete 60 minutes together. While the Lightning did dominate the first period, they would give up three goals in four minutes in the second. Although Detroit is not a bad team, they are not a good one either and is a loss that stings the Lightning mostly because of self inflicted mistakes. Despite not getting the win, Ross Colton picked up two goals on what was a very effective line with Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat. Steven Stamkos also picked up three assists to tie Martin St. Louis’ Francis record for points.

Dominating First

Despite all the things that would happen later in the game, the Lightning looked really good in the first period. They were clean coming out of their own end, moved the puck well, and held a majority of the possession. Defensively gave Detroit very little to work with. Tampa Bay only allowed five shots on goal, most of which were from the outside. Although the Lightning did manage to put 14 shots, they didn’t create enough traffic in front as they had very little second chance opportunities. However, they still controlled the game and seemed to walk away from the period with momentum, especially after a huge from Pat Maroon which directly lead to a Corey Perry scoring chance in the final minute, despite not being able to score.

A Very Rough Second period.

It was evident from the start of the period that the Red Wings were going to push back. Despite the Lightning’s dominating first, Detroit jumped on the Lightning to start the first. They nearly doubled their shot total from the whole first period in the first two minutes of the second. However, it was the Lightning that would get on the board first. Stamkos found some space driving through the slot then whipped it across to Colton who had a wide open net. After getting the opening tally, things started to fall apart. Just 20 seconds after the Stamkos goal, the Red Wings would score three goals in the next four minutes.

Much like the team Andrei Vasilevsky had his moments. On Detroit’s first goal, Vasilveskiy had two separate chances to cover and couldn’t then gave up a juicy rebound that was put in. Then on the third goal, Lucas Raymond put one through the five-hole on the rush. Although the goals were just as much on the defense as it was Vasilevskiy, they are just saves that Vasilevskiy has made in the past. Although Nikita Kucherov would close the gap to one on a powerplay goal before the end of the period, the Bolts’ play in the second was a far cry from whats expected of them.

No Finish in the third

The third period was very up and down for the Lightning. Ross Colton grabbed his second just 43 seconds into the third to tie the game. However, for stretches of the period, the Lightning were sloppy in their own end. This resulted in the Red Wings spending time in Tampa Bay’s end. No turnover was more costly than Mikhail Sergachev’s just over five minutes into third. Sergachev tried his one-handed move just inside the Detroit blueline, a move seceptable to the poke check. Jakub Vrana would poke check it away and with no one covering behind Sergachev, Vrana skated in all alone and fired it past Vasilevskiy for the game winning goal. The Bolts’ would have numerous opportunities to tie the game. However credit is due to Detroit for defending well. Hoping for a last minute comeback, the Lightning had some of the best looks of the period in the final few minutes. This included three Stamkos one-timers and many chances in front as they controlled the all of the possession. However, the were unable to finish and force overtime.

Road Ahead

The Tampa Bay Lightning will play a huge game on Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. With the loss Tuesday, the Bolts now sit six points back of the second place Leafs. Although it is unlike that they will catch Toronto, getting a regulation win would go a long way in giving the a shot. In addition, If the Lightning are able to hang on third place, The Maple Leafs would be their first round match-up. After the last time Toronto came into Amalie, it is imperative that the Lightning put forth a full 60 minute effort and continue their process of working on their consistency.

 

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