Lightning Drop 4-3 Decision to Thrashers
St. Louis Nets Two Goals in Losing Effort
The Tampa Bay Lightning opened their road trip with a one-goal loss against the Atlanta Thrashers tonight, losing 4-3.
Despite a quick goal just 18 seconds into the contest by Atlanta forward Vyacheslav Kozlov, the Lightning had the advantage, and a one goal lead, before half of the opening period had gone into the books.
Martin St. Louis
connected for goal number 11, ending a long 0-27 power play drought with his first score of the game. His goal came at 3:54, assisted by Ryan Malone
and Mark Recchi.
Just over five minutes later, Adam hall
gave Tampa Bay the lead with an even strength goal, his fifth, at 8:15, with assists by Jussi Jokinen and Ryan Craig. The goal came on the second Lightning shot on net of the game; two shots and two goals.
Whatever momentum Tampa Bay enjoyed at that point dissipated quickly as Thrasher netminder Kari Lehtonen settled down after that shaky start and finished the game with 36 saves on 39 shots, earning his first victory after sitting out seven weeks with a sore back.
The Lightning’s lead held for only seven minutes before former Tampa Bay winger Eric Perrin tied the game with a goal on Lightning goaltender Mike Smith
Before the first period ended, the Lightning fell behind by one goal when Thrasher center Todd White scored at the 18:23 mark.
Tampa Bay trailed 3-2 through the scoreless second period. After two stanzas, the Lightning were outshot by Atlanta, 24-15.
The shot total and the momentum turned in the final period, but the Lightning couldn’t make the advantage reflect on the scoreboard. They pounded 24 shots on the Thrasher net, compared to only 6 by Atlanta. Despite the torrent of shots, it was Atlanta that opened the scoring in the period when Joseph Crabbe got the puck past Smith at 4:06 to open up a two goal advantage.
St. Louis cut the deficit to one goal at 17:28, his second power play goal of the night and 12th score of the season, assisted by Vincent Lecavalier
and Steven Stamkos
That was as close as the Lightning were able to get, and at the final buzzer the Lightning had dropped another one goal decision, their 15th loss in 19 one-goal games this season.
Tampa Bay continues the road trip with a game Tuesday against the Penguins in Pittsburgh. With Sidney Crosby and NHL point leader Evengi Malkin waiting, the road ahead doesn’t appear to get easier.
|Three star selections