Lightning’s Questionable Effort Results In Loss To Panthers

Lightning Slow To Puck All Night In Loss

Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Colton Sceviour and Jared McCann scored in the span of 36-seconds and Vincent Trocheck added the Panthers third goal of the final period en rout to a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in their home opener.

The Panthers pressured the Lightning all night peppering Andrei Vasilevskiy with 48 shots on goal. That’s just three shots shy of the club record for shots against in a game. That mark was set by the Boston Bruins against the Bolts on January 19, 2014.

“Ultimately in this league, if you want to be a playoff team, you can’t be giving up four goals a night and that’s what we’re doing right now.” Coach Cooper told reporters after the game. “If it wasn’t for the heroic play of our goaltending, it could be worse.”

Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Brayden Point, and Tyler Johnson scored for the Lightning.  The Namestnikov, Stamkos, and Kucherov continues to produce on the scoresheet tallying a pair of goals and four assists.

The Lightning have not lost five-straight games at the BB&T Center. Their last victory came on April 4, 2015.

The Lightning and Panthers met three times in the preseason and the first two games of the regular season. The two teams will meet each other again at the end of the month back at the BB&T Center in Sunrise Florida.

Cooper seemed to hint that he wasn’t happy with the effort of some of his players. “We’ll go learn from this and if players want to continue to play the way that they feel it’s going to be tough for us.” It’s important to note that Cooper did not explicitly use the word effort, he just said that the team could have played faster:

“It was our speed. When we had an ability to get to a loose puck, they beat us to it. We just didn’t play fast anywhere on the ice. Even defensively we didn’t play fast. We didn’t shut them down down low and we didn’t separate the man from the puck. We let them get out of corners. Once you do that with a team, eventually it’s going to end up in your net and that’s what happened in the third.”

The Lightning have not lost five-straight games at the BB&T Center. Their last victory came on April 4, 2015.

The Lightning and Panthers met three times in the preseason and the first two games of the regular season. The two teams will meet each other again at the end of the month back at the BB&T Center in Sunrise Florida.

“I look at these two games and we split. Probably feel a little fortunate that we got two points out of this because we didn’t deserve the two points tonight.” Cooper said. “The more deserving team got the two points.”

How It Happened:

The Lightning got off to a quick 2-0 lead with goals by Nikita Kucherov and a power play goal by Vladislav Namestnikov.

The Panthers got second period goals by Evgeni Dadonov and Nick Bjugstad‘s to tie the game up heading into the second intermission.

Brayden Point scored the first goal of the third period but the Panthers responded with goals by Colton Sceviour and Jared McCann in the span of 36-seconds.

McCann’s goal was originally waived off due to goalie interference but was overturned on review.

After the Lightning failed to capitalize on near back-to-back power plays, Tyler Johnson scored at the 14:12 mark to cut the Panther’s lead to 5-4.

Lightning Notes:

  • The Lightning were outshot 24-8 in the first period. Overall, the Bolts allowed 48 shots. It matched the most shots allowed to the Panthers in franchise history. That came back on April 9, 2006 in a 6-3 Panthers win.
  • Steven Stamkos notched a pair of assists giving him three in the seasons first two games. It’s his 168th career multi-point game (including playoffs).
  • Stamkos still sits one goal shy from tying Vincent Lecavalier‘s franchise mark of 112 power play goals.
  • Brayden Point scored his second goal of the season and added an assist. He now has five points through his first two games. He has accumulated six goals and five assists in his last five games going back to last season. It’s his 11th multi-point game of his career.

Up Next:

Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals

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I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.