There for a while, the Tampa Bay Lightning had designs on first place in the Atlantic Division.
These days, it just wants to stop the slide.
The Lightning lost their fifth game in six tries Thursday night, losing to the Dallas Stars, 4-3.
The Lightning had taken a 3-2 lead in the second period on a pair of goals by Steven Stamkos, but once again, they could not hold on. The Lightning had the lead three times.
Tampa Bay now trails Florida by four points in the Atlantic.
Jamie Benn, however, scored two goals for Dallas to head the comeback. It was only the second time all season the Lightning has lost when leading after two periods.
The Lightning were outshot 17-4 in the third period.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Especially the way we played for two periods. It’s a little puzzling, to be honest. The guys in the room have to hold themselves accountable. They changed the way they played. We’ve got to be better than that. We’ve got to be better.”
“We have 40 wins, but that’s not going to be enough. We’ve got to win some more games. It almost looked like we played the game to lose instead of to win.”
Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay concludes its current road trip against Phoenix Saturday.