Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

This time, it’s the power play of the Penguins that dooms Bolts

in Sports/Top Headlines by

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.

The Lightning lose. They give up a lot of goals. The streak lives on.

Got it? It’s getting to be pretty painful for the Bolts, who have now lost seven of their last eight with Saturday night’s 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh. In five of their last seven games, they’ve given up at least four goals (four times, they’ve given up five.)

This time, the Bolts lost 4-3 to Pittsburgh, blowing a 3-1 lead on their way. Three of the Penguins’ goals were on the power play.

“You look at our effort level tonight and our battle and our compete,” coach Jon Cooper said. “It was there. We did everything we could to win the game. Special teams cost us in the end. Even still, I think we had an open net, didn’t we? Give him (Valtteri Filppula) that 1,000 times and he probably puts it in 999, and there’s the one time it didn’t go in for us. You’ve got to feel for the guys who’d probably still be playing right now, but they’re a really good team too.

“You can’t take anything away from them. They’re the defending champs, and they pretty much have kept going from last year. So you give them credit. We gave them five power plays. They scored on three of them, and that’s where it’s kind of tough. We’ve got to kill one more of those off, and we didn’t and it cost us.”

Sidney Crosby scored twice – his 19th and 20th goals of the year. He scored in the first period to give the Pens a 1-0 lead. But Tampa Bay scored three in a row – two by Jonathan Drouin and one by Filppula – to take a 3-1 lead.

“I liked a lot of the things we did,” Cooper said. “Again, when it kind of got down to it at the end though, we stopped shooting pucks. We stopped attacking the net, and the couple of flurries we had we were really attacking the net. We were going for it. Then it felt, again, we were trying to make the extra pass, trying to place the puck into the net instead of just getting it to the net and driving when we had guys doing that.

“That’s the tough part when at the end there we had things going, we just didn’t shoot enough. But Pittsburgh also puts you in those positions, so you’ve got to fight through that kind of stuff. Ultimately we had a 3-1 lead, and we blew it at home and those are tough to swallow because that doesn’t happen to us too often.”

Pittsburgh came back with two goals by Evgeni Malkin and one by Crosby. In all, the Penguins got off 37 shots against Tampa Bay.

“You can’t win if you’re going to give up 4-5 goals a night.” Cooper said. “And we are. Clearly, it’s tough to win games when that happens.”

The Lightning now goes on the road, facing Calgary 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 [email protected]

Latest from Sports

Go to Top