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Tampa Bay Lightning shut out in lopsided loss to Washington

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And then, nothing.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, which had appeared to be pulling out of its swoon with back-to-back wins were clobbered Friday night in a 4-0 loss to the Washington Caps.

Tampa Bay gave up two goals in the first period, and got off only two shots, in their latest defeat. John Carlson scored the Caps’ first two goals, including the first with only 55 seconds gone in the game.

Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson later scored goals for Washington.

It was Ovechkin’s 15th goal of the season.

“Ultimately, you circle this one on the calendar as, ‘OK, this is one we’re going to have to game out,’ because we were playing three (games) in four (days), it’s a tough travel night for us, getting in at three in the morning and turn around and have to play an exceptional team like Washington,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “But what made it was worse was first shift getting scored on. That was a little bit of a deflator right there.

“They got the 2-0 lead, and the irony of the whole thing, we only gave them four shots in the last 15 minutes of that first period. So, as ugly as it looks, they did all their damage in the first four minutes and that kind of changed the game. The kicker there was when we didn’t score in that first five minutes of the second (period). We were all over them, and, we needed that next goal. Ultimately, they weathered that storm, got the third one and that was it.”

Braden Holtby stopped 23 shutouts for his 26th career shutout.

For the Bolts, Jonathan Drouin and Braydon Coburn left and did not return. Andrei Vasilevskiy was pulled in the third period and left.

“I think we’ve been doing a good job coming back, but it’s hard to do it that many times,” defenseman Anton Stralman said. “We’ve put ourselves in big holes way too many times this season and sometimes we manage to come back like last night but we just didn’t have it. That first period, that was a tough period. We didn’t execute anything in our game plan really. They score two goals; we have two shots. That kind of sums it up.”

 The Lightning plays Montreal at home on Wednesday 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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