NHL Game Night: 2-27-14 Lightning at Predators

Music City choke.

TB-2
NSH-3

Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the loss. None of the three goals were terrible, but you'd have liked to have seen him squeeze off that third one in tight to preserve at least a point (not that the team in front of him deserved it).

First Period
5:26 TB St Louis (26), (Palat)
9:13 TB St Louis (27), (Kucherov, Purcell)(PP)

Second Period
12:05 NSH Cullen (6), (Ellis, Smith)(PP)
13:16 NSH Josi (9), (Weber)(PP)

Third Period
13:56 NSH Hornqvist (11), (Fisher, Weber)(PP)

Martin St. Louis was the game's second star.

That was infuriating. I thought the team came out flat as a pancake but lucked out with a goal off the rush in transition and then a softie on the PP. Staked with the 2 goal lead and with Nashville looking like they were in shock, the Lightning had all the momentum and opportunities to end the game early, especially on a PP to start the Second Period.

They sleepwalked through the final 40 minutes of that game. That compete-level was garbage. They should give back 2/3 of their paychecks tonight. Yes. They were bad and they should feel bad, and their special teams are an absolute thermonuclear dumpster fire right now. That PK, if you can call it that, is the worst PK I've ever seen the Lightning put on the ice, and there have been some awful Lightning teams that have come and gone.

The Lightning now will fall short of their 12 point target for this 10 game segment of the season, and if they fail to get a point out of the finale of the segment they will fall behind the pace they need to be on to comfortably make the playoffs. And, honestly, if they're going to allow themselves to be outworked like that and if their special teams are going to be that craptacular, there's no point in showing up for the postseason tournament. Yes, a healthy Filppula and Stamkos will make a considerable difference, so I'm not ready to load the team in a cannon and shoot them to the moon quite yet. But the work ethic was not there tonight, and that's not good enough.

16 shots on goal against a goaltender, Carter Hutton, that couldn't stop a beach ball? The Lightning should feel deep shame. Deep, deep shame.

Mark Barberio had 3 blocked shots in 16:50. Tonight was his 41st NHL game of the season, so he graduates from prospect status on the website. Sad this was such a clunker to get over the finish line on.

J.T. Brown had 2 penalty minutes, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 8:49. He'll graduate from prospect status in his next game this season.

Vladislav Namestnikov had an ill-timed minor penalty and was 20% on draws in 8:10.

Nikita Kucherov had a helper and 1 shot in 11:22. He rang a post in the Third Period with the Lightning down 3-2, and that was all she wrote for the team after that. Kucherov needs 5 more games this season to graduate from prospect status.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.