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Lightning returns to the dark side in loss to Vancouver Canucks

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After a one-game reprieve, the Tampa Bay Lightning returned to its slump Friday night.

The Lightning lost a 4-2 game to the Vancouver Canucks. The Bolts had stopped a streak in which they lost seven of eight with a win against Calgary Wednesday, but they lost their eighth in 10 games against the Canucks.

“We can’t sit here and say we didn’t play well,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. They had 10 scoring chances the whole game. They score three goals. You can’t ask our team to do any better than that. Any NHL team will tell you, you give up 10 scoring chances, you’ve got a really good chance to win the hockey game. We’re playing pretty well defensively, a couple breaks here. Unfortunately, some of these turnovers are ending up in the back of our net. In the end, it’s a tough game not to get points out of, that’s for sure.

“It’s too bad because it was a pretty solid effort by a depleted group. You feel for the guys. It’s a self-inflicted loss is what it is. Bad turnovers end up in our net and a marginal call at best, a penalty 200 feet from our net and they just get an unreal break. It’s tough to fault the guys on their effort. The Canucks got the breaks and we didn’t.”

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped only 20 of 23 shots in the loss.

Victor Hedman gave the Bolts a 1-0 lead, but Brandon Sutter and Luca Sbisa gave Vancouver a 2-1 lead after two periods. Corey Conacher scored his first goal to tie things up, but Bo Horvath scored a power play goal to give Vancouver the lead. Alex Burrows scored the final goal on an empty netter.

“I thought the first period was a good period,” said defenseman Anton Stralman. ” We played well. We played within our structure. And then the second period I thought we stopped doing the right things. We took the easy way out a little bit, and they hurt us. What’s unfortunate is that third goal, obviously, it’s just unlucky, especially on our PK too where we’ve been struggling and trying to get back on track. To allow one of those, it sucks, but, at the end, we need to play better over 60 minutes.”

The Lightning has been outscored 37-23 in their last 10 games.

Tampa Bay is in Edmonton tonight.

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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