Lightning looking to get their mojo back in upcoming four game home stand
It was just last week that we were all talking about how great the Lightning defense was playing.
The defense had allowed seven shots on goal to Dallas in two periods, and Andrei Vasilevskiy said that was one of the best performances from the blue line he has seen.
How things have changed. Just a week later, we are wondering where the defense has gone. The Lightning has held 2-0 leads in two consecutive games and lost both games by scores of 4-3.
It, not just the suspect defense; the penalty kill has been sluggish as they have allowed three goals in nine power-play attempts. The power play has also gone cold, going 0/7 the last two games.
Pat Maroon summed up the way things have gone for the Lightning. “We’ve just got to be better defensively. We’ve got to be sharper. The most concerning thing is turning pucks over.”
In both games, the Lightning started quickly and got out to a 2-0 lead but let all that momentum slip away in the second period.
The second period has been their Achilles Hill. The Lightning has started strong and played a solid first period, and then have come out in the second period and given the momentum away.
The Lightning took six penalties in the loss to Carolina, allowing two power-play goals. Eliminating needless penalties was something Julien BriesBois talked about in a press conference a few weeks ago as a big concern on the Lightning.
Jon Cooper talked about the penalties and the fact that the Lightning were outworked against the Hurricanes. “We could have won the last two games 5-0, and I’d still be thinking the same thing. We didn’t win tonight because we got outworked. Penalties didn’t have anything to do with it, other than the fact that our power play failed us, and theirs came through for them. That’s the crux of it.”
The good news is that the Lightning have 50 points, and that ties them with Washington for the NHL’s top spot. The Bolts also have a one-point lead on Carolina for first place in the Central Division.
The Lightning return home to open a four-game homestand taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings.