Short on D, Lightning again fall a goal short.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed four goals on 40 shots for the loss.
3:12 TB Coleman (7), (Rutta, Goodrow)
5:41 TB Maroon (4), (Colton)
2:24 CAR Paquette (4), (Necas, Pesce)
3:26 CAR Aho (15), (Neiderreiter, Necas)
15:44 CAR Necas (8), (Aho, Svechnikov)(PP)
0:22 TB Joseph (9), (Maroon)
16:07 CAR Necas (9), (Hamilton)(PP)
Bottom line: the Lightning injury situation with McDonagh and Cernak out on D creates an unsustainable situation. You have two clear cut NHL defensemen (Hedman and Sergachev), whatever Jan Rutta is, a rookie in Cal Foote, a long-in-the-tooth Luke Schenn, and an AHL level defender in Andreas Borgman. And, Borgman got absolutely exposed tonight. That’s back to back games where the Lightning have surrendered 40 shots or more. Back to back games where they can’t get into their transition game because they can’t get out of their end cleanly. Breaking out of your own zone is the most underrated part of playing successful hockey and the Lightning can’t do it well with the personnel they have to put out on the ice right now.
Cal Foote was +1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 19:02. I actually think, of all the borderline NHL d-men who’ve been pressed into service because of these injuries, Cal’s the one whose held up the best and he’s gotten heavy ice time as a consequence. What I see with Foote is a player who thinks the game well enough that he gets himself into positions that protect him from his lack of skating speed.
Ross Colton had a helper and was +3 with 2 hits and 1 blocked shot. He was also 64% on 11 draws. That fourth line with Colton has become the truth. The chemistry and production have been undeniable.