Looking back on last year’s lockout shortened NHL season, one positive for the Tampa Bay Lightning was that the team did not have to make a trip to the West Coast where the Lightning have just played dreadful over the past couple seasons. Last night was the same story for the Lightning as the team fell 5-2 to the Los Angeles Kings and for the first time all season lost back-to-back games. The Lightning are now 0-2 on the four game, West Coast swing and will move on to face the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
For Lightning captain Martin St Louis it was a career milestone night as he played in game No. 1,000. However, for St Louis it was a game he might quickly want to forget the result of. For the Lightning to maintain pace in the very competitive Atlantic Division, this team must prove it is able to win games against elite teams in elite divisions. Although the Lightning are without superstar leader Steven Stamkos, this team lacks a true identity. Right now the Lightning don’t have that one player to turn to or lean on during adversity.
After jumping out to a quick start, goalie Ben Bishop has come back to life and begun to fall into a bit of a slump allowing five or more goals in his last two starts. For the Lightning to get back on track it must rely heavily on scoring from veterans and solid goaltending from Bishop. The road does not get any easier for the Lightning who now move on to face the Sharks and Anaheim Ducks before returning home Thanksgiving week.