Lightning offense continues to struggle as season enters the final month

The Tampa Bay Lightning offense has suddenly gone cold.

It has been six games since the captain Steven Stamkos lit the lamp.

It has been a five-game goal drought for Yanni Guarde, Ondrej Palat, and Alex Killorn.

The Lightning trailing Detroit 1-0 in the second period allowed three goals in a span of 2:53 in the second period as Detroit took a 4-0 lead. The Red Wings would add one more in the third for the 5-1 win.

The loss dropped the Lightning to second place in the Central Division with a 26-10-2 record, two points behind Florida and just one point ahead of third-place Carolina.

Is the Lightning pressing? Jon Cooper talked about the players wanting to score. “Everybody likes to score, and when you’re used to scoring when you don’t, it gets a little uncomfortable. Then you start taking shortcuts, thinking it’ll give yourself a better opportunity to score. The only way you can do it is really work your way out of it.”

Everything seems to have gone south for the Lightning these last six games starting with the offense.

The Lightning is 2-4 the last six games and is averaging two goals a game. That is down over 1.5 goals from their season-high of 3.75.

It seems if Andrei Vasilevskiy is not in goal, it will be a rough night for the boys in blue and white.

Curtis McElhinney has not been very good in most of his starts, and yesterday Christopher Gibson made his first start since 2018. Gibson was shellacked, giving up five goals on 18 shots

The Lightning has had to rely on the steady play of Victor Hedman offensively and defensively. Hedman leads the team in scoring with seven goals and 36 points.

Hedman had the only goal Sunday afternoon in the 5-1 loss to the Red Wings.

The second period has been awful for the Lightning during this six-game stretch as they have been out-scored 12-2.

Ryan McDonagh talked about the importance of executing the smallest of details after the Lightning loss. “I think we’re learning the lesson of how important every detail is in our game and how important it is to be in that structure for 60 minutes and not let our guard down at any point in the game. We felt like we had good control of the game. We didn’t score, but it’s 1-0 there at least halfway through the second, and we just let a few minutes in the game snowball into a big hole. We’ve got to understand here as it’s getting down to the stretch how important every little detail in our game in our own zone all can be the difference in winning and losing.”

The Lightning will now hit the road for four games as they will play two in Columbus, and two in Nashville, before returning home for a six-game homestand.

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