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Lightning loses, 2-1, to Vancouver despite its advantages

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Talk about an advantage. The Tampa Bay Lightning held all the cards Thursday night.

How they lost in head-shaking fashion is going to stick with them for a while.

  • The Lightning were on a bit of hot streak, winning three of four and playing at home.
  • The Lightning’s opponent, Vancouver, was playing its sixth road game in nine days.
  • The Canucks were starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who had only five starts and one win this year.
  • And, to top it all off, the Bolts had a staggering 10 power plays in the game.

Despite all of that, the Lightning found a way to lose a 2-1 game. For goaltender Ben Bishop, it was the 20th game of the year in which he has held opponents to two goals or fewer.

“It’s tough,” said Steven Stamkos.”The power play is costing us games this year, so we have to take responsibility as players. There are no excuses. It just has to be better.

“In the third we had some great looks, we just couldn’t put the puck in the net. I think I hit two posts there, had some good looks but things just weren’t going my way tonight with regards to putting the puck in the net.”

The Bolts had only one shot through its first four power plays.

“It’s obviously not good enough,” said forward Ryan Callahan. “It’s not where it needs to be. I mean 1-for-10 is not even close to where it needs to be. There are a lot of things you can look at on the power play. I thought we actually got in the zone pretty well, but then we had some unforced turnovers, maybe we were forcing it, I don’t know. It has to be better we realize that.”

The power play has been spotty for much of the season by the Lightning, but seldom has it been one-for-10.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said his team had plenty of looks and suggested his team could have scored as many as five goals on the power play.

The Lightning’s only goal came in the second period from Jonathan Marchessault with 21.4 seconds left.

However, Daniel Sedin scored in the third period to break the tie and lead the Canucks to the victory.

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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