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Boston Bruins blow out slumping Tampa Bay Lightning

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Suddenly, the Tampa Bay Lightning is in a slump.

Tampa Bay lost its second consecutive game Sunday afternoon, and its third in its last four games, with a 4-1 bashing at the hands of the Boston Bruins.

“Our guys gamed it out,” said coach Jon Cooper. “Really, it was just a nothing game, we were having a good road game and then it basically was blown assignments. That’s the tough part. We lose the center on the first (goal). We were a little out of position on the penalty kill goal, and then we don’t make a hard play in front of the net, they tip it in and that was pretty much it. The big picture, the guys played hard. Every time we made a little mistake, they put it in the net and that’s tough.”

The Bruins scored three times in the third period when Dominic Moore, David Backes and Jimmy Hayes scored. David Pasternak made it 4-0 in the third.

“It’s hard to tell a smaller guy to get to an area, a 5-foot-9 guy to get through a guy that’s 6-foot-4, but you have to use your skills, you have to use your speed, your compete, your tenacity and all those things,” Cooper said. “And I thought our guys did a lot of that. Like I said, it was blown assignments and that’s what ultimately resulted in the pucks that went in the net. By no means was it effort. Guys were gaming it out. They worked, it was just one of those games where everything they touched went in and nothing we touched went in. That’s it.”

For the Bolts, Jonathan Drouin scored in the third period to avoid the shutout.

Goaltender Ben Bishop has surrendered nine goals in his last two outings.

“You’ve got to feel for him because that first period he was solid,” Cooper said. “There weren’t very many chances either way but he was commanding, he was playing the puck and then these bounces go in on him. That first one, you can’t allow two of their guys at the net and just have them swatting at pucks. We’ve got to help him out a little bit and I don’t know if we did.”

Tampa Bay plays in Columbus Tuesday night.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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