The Tampa Bay Lightning’s early season struggles on special teams continued on Tuesday night as they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Edmonton Oilers.
This game featured the last six Art Ross Trophy winners in Conner McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Nikita Kucherov.
McDavid and Draisaitl scored power-play goals in the second period to give the Oilers a 3-1 lead, which they would never relinquish.
After the game, coach Jon Cooper got straight to the point about the big reason the Lightning lost this game. “They scored more goals than us. Their special teams was the difference. That was it.”
Once again, the Lightning penalty kill was suspect, allowing the Oilers to score on 2/4 chances, while the Bolt’s power play was non-existent, going 0/5. However, the Oilers got a short-handed goal in the first period, and two power plays goals in the second period less than two minutes apart, which seemed to take the wind out of the Lightning’s sails.
The Lightning is now 5/32 on the power play in the last eight games.
Oilers Power Play The Difference
The Oilers coming off a 5-4 loss in Washington the previous night, looked like a tired team in the first period. The Lightning quickly jumped on the Oilers and outshot Edmonton 8-0. However, Oilers goalie Jack Campbell was sharp, making some great saves to keep the Bolts off the scoreboard.
In hockey, you have to put three solid periods together to win games. That did not happen against the Oilers, and Alex Killorn summed it up after the loss. “They beat us in the special teams battle, big time. It’s not good enough. I thought we had a really good control of the game in the first period, and even in the third, I thought we played well. Just the second period killed us.”
That has seemed to be how the Lightning has played this season—one good period sandwiched between two periods of just going through the motions. Jon Cooper has talked about it. Yet, this team thinks it can turn it on at any point in the game and come back to win.
It doesn’t work that way. You have to earn the wins by playing a solid 60 minutes.
Brandon Hagel and Alex Killorn scored the two goals for the Lightning, with Andrei Vasileviskiy making 26 saves
Stamkos Cools Off After Hot Start
–After his hot start to the season, Steven Stamkos has cooled off considerably. Stamkos took five shots but couldn’t find the back of the net. Stamkos has not scored a goal in his last eight games.
–The Lightning are now 7-5-1 and will play the Washington Capitals in back-to-games this weekend. Friday night, the Bolts will be in Washington and then return home to play the Capitals on Sunday evening.