The Tampa Bay Lightning never got their skates going until it was too late.
The Lightning had a strong third period, but could get nothing past Boston netminder Tukka Rask as the Bruins beat the Lightning 2-1 to improve their lead over the Lightning to nine points in the Atlantic Divison.
The Lightning were outshot by the Bruins 35-21 and at one point in the game were being outshot 30-10. The Lightning had a good third period, but we have seen this movie played out time and time again.
The Lightning come out flat To start the game, they get outplayed for two periods, then turn it on in the third period and try to mount a cone back only to fall short.
The Lightning did generate some chances in the third period and had the Bruins on their heels for much of the period, but Rask stood tall in goal for the Bruins, and the defense in front of Rask was able to block a lot of the Lightning shots that were fired.
Andrei Vasilevskiy was the best player on the ice for the Lightning as he made some great saves throughout the game and kept the his team in the game. He finished with 33 saves.
Mitchell Stephens was the only Bolt that was able to get one by Tukka Rask as he scored his third goal of the season late in the second period.
With the loss to the Bruins, the Lightning have now lost five out of their last six and are now trying to find some new line combinations with the absence of Steven Stamkos.
Nikita Kucherov, who is one of the players that the Lightning are counting on to step up their game had zero shots on goal, but had four shots blocked.
The Lightning penalty kill Which had been horrendous during the four game losing streak snuffed out three Boston power play opportunities and the Lightning are now 2/11 on the PK the last three games.
This was the third meeting of the season between these two division foes, with the Lightning winning the first two. The final matchup will in Boston on Saturday night.
Some good news on the injury front for the Lightning today with defensemen Jan Rutta and Ryan McDonaugh back on the ice.
McDonaugh wore a regular jersey and did some additional drills with Alex Killorn after practice. Rutta wore the non-contact jersey but neither will play Thursday night against Montreal.
The Lightning have allowed 26 goals over the last six games, but last nights defensive effort was the best we have seen from the Lightning since the 3-1 win against Edmonton on February 13th.
With Rutta and McDonaugh both back at practice today, help is on the way and that is good news for the Lightning as they enter the final month of the season.