The Tampa Bay Lightning know how hard it can be to come off of a bye week. The Bolts struggled mightily on Thursday night against Vegas. They hoped the Minnesota Wild would feel those same struggles coming off of a bye week on Saturday night. That was not the case at all for Minnesota. Minnesota jumped out to a 3-goal lead and never looked back. In the end the Lightning were dealt their 3rd straight loss in a 5-2 victory for the Wild.
A couple of the things that have plagued the Lightning recently came up again early in this game. They got the 1st chance on a power play, but couldn’t muster a single shot on goal in the 2 minute period. When the Wild got their first chance on the PP, they didn’t have the same problem. Tampa Bay lost the faceoff to start the power play and Jared Spurgeon fired a shot that moved on Andrei Vasilevskiy and got into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. The Lightning finally got a good scoring chance from Vlad Namestnikov late in the period. The save was made and the Wild led a counter attack. Zach Parise tipped a the puck past Vasilevskiy to double the lead on that attack. It looked like Parise might have interfered with Vasilevskiy, but after a challenge the goal was upheld.
Unfortunately, for most of the 2nd period the Lightning struggled again. Tampa Bay couldn’t take advantage of an early power play opportunity and payed for it again. Nate Prosser’s 2nd goal of the season made it a 3-0 lead for Minnesota before the period was halfway over. Tampa Bay continued to look sluggish, but finally caught a break late in the period. Brayden Point tied his goal total for all of last year when he finally got the puck past Devan Dubnyk. That made the game a 2-goal deficit heading to the final period of regulation.
A dubious streak for Tampa Bay continued early in the 3rd. Marcus Foligno scored his 4th goal of the year on a one-timer to put his team comfortably in front again. The Bolts responded to that goal better than they had all night long. They got a full 5-on-3 power play and the Lightning’s best player all night long came through again. Brayden Point scored for the 2nd time in the game on that power play to get his team back in the game. The Bolts had some chances to get back into the game, but an empty netter in the final minutes ended any doubt. The Bolts have their 1st 3-game losing streak of the season with a 5-2 loss.
The Bolts will continue this road trip through the Midwest on Monday night. They will stroll into Chicago to face the Blackhawks. The game is scheduled to get underway at 8:30 pm. Pregame coverage will get going right at 8 on our sister station, News Radio 970 WFLA.
1. MNW - PPG - Spurgeon - (Staal) - 10:07
2. MNW - Parise - (Suter, Staal) - 17:24
1. MNW - Prosser - (Eriksson Ek, Rau) - 7:11
2. TBL - Point - (Sergachev, Johnson) - 15:35
1. MNW - Foligno - (Cullen, Ennis) - 3:10
2. TBL - PPG - Point - (Johnson, Stamkos) - 6:37
3. MNW - Zucker - (Dubnyk) - 19:01
1. MNW - Prosser - (Roughing) - 4:58
2. TBL - Dotchin - (Roughing) - 4:58
3. MNW - Prosser - (Roughing) - 4:58
4. TBL - Sustr - (Hooking) - 10:04
1. MNW - Winnik - (High Sticking) - 0:41
2. TBL - Koekoek - (Holding) - 10:20
1. MNW - Olofsson - (Cross Checking) - 5:15
2. MNW - Dumba - (Roughing) - 5:15
3. TBL - Dotchin - (Tripping) - 19:50
SHOTS ON GOAL
Tampa Bay - 23
Minnesota - 35