For the second straight game on Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning were once again shutout and left to question its next step with an offense that has just been anemic the past couple games. After a 3-0 home loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, the Lightning hit the road and fell this time 1-0 to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. Goalie Ben Bishop was once again stellar, but was left without any offensive support throughout the game.
For Tampa Bay, key injuries to players in Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone and Tom Pyatt have played a very large role in the downfall of the team’s offense. However, the Lightning continue to blunder away power play chances scoring on only four of its past 56 opportunities. The Lightning also seem to always be taking the “extra pass” and it has resulted in a significant amount of fewer shots throughout the last couple games.
Although the Lightning have been absolutely plagued by injuries the past couple weeks, the team must find a way to quickly snap out of its offensive funk. Zero goals in the last six periods of play now has the Lighting looking for serious answers. Even Lightning captain Martin St. Louis has hit the scoring slump and it will be key for the Lightning to have one of its few veteran players to step up during the skid.
As Tampa Bay now drops to fourth place in the Atlantic Division at 16-10-1 on the year, veteran leadership and scoring will be vital for the Lightning to end the scoring drought. Solid goal-tending has bailed the Lightning out all year long and now the offense must take a step forward.