Nashville, TN - Despite scoring a goal in the last minute of the third period, the Tampa Bay Lightning were defeated 2-1 by the Nashville Predators Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena. The loss was the first suffered by the Lightning in exhibition play, splitting the preseason series with the Predators, 1-1.
“We’ve had a pretty good run in the preseason and we got outplayed today, there was no question,” head coach Jon Cooper said.
After 25 minutes of play with no score, Nashville tallied first, taking the 1-0 lead versus the Lightning for the only goal through nearly 55 minutes in the game.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne, who amassed four periods of scoreless hockey for the Predators this year, was replaced in favor of netminder Marek Mazanec in the third period with the one-goal lead.
Nashville then added another in the final minutes of the third for the 2-0 lead, while Tampa Bay attempted a late-game rally, netting a goal with 45.9 seconds left in the last frame. The Bolts would fall short however, on the losing end of a 2-1 score.
Lightning netminder Anders Lindback finished with 31 saves on 33 shots, while Tampa Bay did not allow a power-play goal on five different opportunities.
“Lindback saw a lot of action, but I think he played pretty under control,” Cooper said. “He made the saves and that’s what you want in your goaltender, to make all the saves you can. You can’t expect Lindback to keep making all the saves, but he was under control and played the puck well. I thought he was exceptional. Plus, he’s coming into a town that he used to play in, so there’s that added pressure and he responded.”
Tampa Bay managed just two first period and three third period shots for a total of 17 in the contest.
After successfully killing off a Predators penalty on Rich Clune for hooking at 2:40 of the second, the forward managed a breakaway upon exiting the penalty box. Bolts goaltender Lindback stopped Clune’s initial shot, but forward Simon Moser managed the goal for the 1-0 Nashville lead.
Then following a faceoff win by Paul Gaustad from the Predators, defenseman Kevin Klein would receive the puck and score at 14:47 of the third frame.
The Bolts won the initial faceoff in the last 50 seconds of play, as forward Jonathan Drouin’s pass to Steven Stamkos minimized the Predators lead to one, but the Lightning fell on the losing end of a 2-1 score.
UP NEXT – The Bolts practice in Estero, Florida (Germain Arena) on Wednesday starting at 12:00 p.m. as they prepare for their final home game of the season on Thursday against the Florida Panthers at 7:30 p.m at Germain Arena. The training camp practice is free and open to the public.