Nightmare West Coast Trip for Tampa Bay Lightning Continues

Bob Stanton – USA TODAY Sports

For the Tampa Bay Lightning, Thursday night’s 5-1 blowout loss to the San Jose Sharks was just the same sad story. For the first time all season, the Lightning have now lost three straight games and have been outscored 16-6 on the West Coast trip. After leaving home a week ago atop the Eastern Conference Standings, the Lightning have completely collapsed on this road-trip and will look to avoid an 0-4 trip Friday night when the team faces off with the Anaheim Ducks.

Although the Lightning still sit at a respectable 14-8 on the season, the team is finally showing some glaring weaknesses. After losing superstar Steven Stamkos, the Lightning offense has been nothing short of abysmal against these elite West Coast teams. Tampa Bay has also seemed to lose its solid goaltending that was carrying the Lightning earlier in the season. Together both Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback have allowed 16 goals in just three games. The Lightning have not even held a lead at any point of any game so far on the trip.

Things will not become any easier for the Lightning who wrap up this West Coast swing Friday night against the Ducks. Anaheim at 8-0-1 on home ice and has not lost a game in regulation yet this season at the Honda Center. It will be absolutely vital for the Lightning to at least pick up a point against the Ducks in order to avoid an atrocious road-trip. It will also be key for the Lightning to come out quick and dominate the game early on. Tampa Bay has struggled to assert themselves for an entire game so far this trip, and the Lightning will look to finally regroup against the Ducks before returning home.

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