Talk Lightning hockey with fans and staff at the BP Message Boards and follow us on Twitter!

NHL Game Night: 12-21-19 Lightning at Capitals

Lightning fall victim to the Espo Rule.

TB-1
WSH-3

Curtis McElhinney allowed 2 goals on 34 shots for the loss. I'd say he deserved better.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
4:40 WSH Gudas (1), (Eller, Siegenthaler)

Third Period
10:00 TB Kucherov (12), (Point, Palat)
13:57 WSH Orlov (3), (Vrana, Kuznetsov)
17:37 WSH Dowd (3), (Wilson, Orlov)(SH)(EN)

That's a hugely frustrating game where, despite being grossly outpossesed through 40 minutes, McElhinney allowed the Lightning to retain contact. Then, in the Third Period, score effects kicked in and the Lightning tied the game and started getting power play opportunities, including a 5-on-3 after Kucherov tied the game. But Espo's Rule states when a team fails to convert a 5-on-3, they often lose, and that's what happened to Tampa Bay tonight.

The opportunities squandered are just slowly putting Tampa Bay further and further behind the eight ball. With points that were clearly dropped late in the last two games, the team's now in a situation where they'll have to get 10 of the next 12 available points to be on minimum playoff pace again at the 40 game mark of the year. That seems horribly improbably right now considering the team is anti-clutch at the moment.

Mitchell Stephens had 2 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 7:33.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-21-19 Devils at Crunch

Crunch rebound with strong opening period to exorcise Devils.

BNG-2
SYR-5

Mike Condon allowed 2 goals on 37 shots for the win.

First Period
3:06 SYR Yan (7), (Valleau, Barre-Boulet)
3:18 SYR Barre-Boulet (11), (Yan, Somppi)
17:49 BNG Schmelzer (4), (Maltsev)
18:54 SYR Conacher (9), (Colton, Katchouk)

Second Period
3:10 SYR Conacher (10), (Smith, Gaunce)(PP)
6:54 BNG Schmelzer (5), (Maltsev, Jacobs)

Third Period
19:17 SYR Joseph (1), (unassisted)(SH)(EN)

Condon, Cory Conacher, and Alex Barre-Boulet were the game's three stars.

This was a game where the final score probably wasn't indicative of the run of play. After the Crunch staked themselves to the quick two goal lead, Bingo had the clear possession advantage the rest of the way and ended up outshooting the Crunch 37-21 in the contest. Hence Condon being the first star of the game. Either way, it's a critical win to bust a slump before it gets out of hand. At a certain point the Crunch are going to need to stop treading water in the bottom third of the North Division and make their run, though.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-20-19 Senators at Crunch

Yuck.

BEL-7
SYR-3

Spencer Martin allowed 6 goals on 26 shots for the loss.

First Period
2:45 BEL Kelly (2), (LaBate, Cassels)

Second Period
1:19 SYR Masin (1), (Volkov, Mueller)(SH)
12:22 SYR Mueller (11), (Conacher, Gaunce)(PP)
13:32 BEL Abramov (11), (Batherson, Aspirot)

Third Period
2:21 BEL LaBate (2), (Cassels, Kelly)
7:00 BEL Szwarz (10), (Balcers, Davidsson)
10:29 BEL Norris (12), (Corrado, Abramov)
16:56 BEL Chalapik (2), (Balcers, Aspirot)(SH)(EN)
17:42 SYR Foote (2), (Volkov, Katchouk)(PP)
18:22 BEL Kelly (3), (Corrado, LaBate)

Chris Mueller was the game's third star.

It's wild to think Syracuse held a lead more than halfway through the Second Period and that things went down the tubes that badly in the Third Period. Lordy.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-19-19 Stars at Lightning

Lightning choke away a point somehow.

DAL-4
TB-3 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 20 shots for the loss. The numbers are just inexcusable. The inconsistency this season is just maddening.

First Period
4:09 DAL Radulov (10), (Seguin, Klingberg)(PP)
12:58 TB Sergachev (5), (Johnson, Palat)(PP)
15:24 TB Killorn (10), (Kucherov, Hedman)(PP)

Second Period
3:22 TB Palat (10), (Sergachev, Shattenkirk)
17:57 DAL Faksa (8), (Klingberg, Gurianov)

Third Period
15:42 DAL Dickinson (5), (Cogliano, Polak)

Overtime
3:00 DAL Seguin (8), (Radulov)

Mikhail Sergachev and Ondrej Palat were the game's first and second stars.

If that wasn't a microcosm of the 2019-2020 season thus far, I don't know what is. The Lightning dominated that game, outshooting Dallas 47-17 in regulation and at one point hunting the put away goal to go up three late in the Second Period. That's against, statistically, the best defensive team in the league right now. But, instead, they give up the goal late in the Second Period and invited Dallas to stick around, and ultimately paid the price in Overtime. I'd sure hate to be in a position where this team is chasing points in March just to make the postseason and they're having to reflect back on a game like this where they, frankly, pee'ed it down the leg.

Carter Verhaeghe had 2 penalty minutes and 3 shots and 1 hit in 8:38.

Mitchell Stephens had 1 shot in 8:33.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Syndicate content