For the Tampa Bay Lightning, Monday night’s 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets all came down to the penalty kill. The Lightning awarded the Blue Jackets six power-play opportunities, including one very late in the third period that Columbus turned into the game-winning goal.
Lightning goalie Anders Lindback played well enough to win the game, but Tampa Bay’s lack of special teams prevented that from happening. The loss sent Lindback’s record to 5-10-1 in what was most likely his last start for a while with starter Ben Bishop ready to return on Tuesday night.
Although the Lightning came into the game winning seven of its previous eight road games, Tampa Bay seem rattled from the start of the first period as the Blue Jackets came out hounding the Lightning in their own zone. Columbus was even able to prevent the Lightning from reaching center ice for the first five minutes of the game. Both goalies were tested early, but the game was scoreless after one period of play.
Even with the Blue Jackets having six opportunities on the man advantage throughout the game, the Lightning were able to kill off four of them but unfortunately allowed two at very crucial moments of the game. The Lightning had goals from both Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman in the loss, just 57 seconds apart in the second period.
As the Lightning finish up the road trip against the New York Rangers with their second game in as many days, it will be vital for Tampa Bay to limit the number of penalties. Hopefully the return of starting goalie Bishop will ignite the Lighting as they continue on with the busiest scheduled week of the season.