NASHVILLE – Despite holding a two-goal lead through 30 minutes of play, the Tampa Bay Lightning's lack of second and third period shots and woes on special teams led to a 3-2 defeat by the Nashville Predators Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.
Captain Martin St. Louis began where he left off after Team Canada's Gold Medal win, scoring Tampa Bay's two tallies on the night. Yet the Preds scored three unanswered power-play goals to seal their first win since returning from Olympic break.
The Lightning also managed just seven shots on goal through the final 40 minutes of play, taking four shots in the second and three in the third.
The first of the pair of tallies by St. Louis came after linemate Ondrej Palat's shot down the slot hit the post. St. Louis recovered the rebound and backhanded it past Preds' netminder, Carter Hutton, for a 1-0 game at 5:26.
He then doubled the score less than four minutes later when his wrist shot from the right face-off circle trickled off Hutton and into his own cage at 9:13. St. Louis is now riding a four-game point streak (two goals, three assists) and has extended his point streak versus Nashville to 10 games (five goals, eight assists).
The Predators took advantage of back-to-back power plays midway through the second to even the game at two. Matt Cullen scored the first of the Preds' tallies at 12:05. Taking a hard feed from Ryan Ellis, Cullen notched the power-play marker on a sharp-angled shot from the left of Ben Bishop's net.
Following the goal Vladislav Namestnikov was called for hooking and Nashville capitalized quickly. Just 32 seconds after Namestnikov's minor, Roman Josi's slapshot went top shelf on Bishop at 13:16 of the man advantage.
Patric Hornqvist made it three power-play goals on the night for the Preds with 6:04 left in regulation to give Nasvhille a 3-2 advantage. Mike Fisher took the shot that landed in front of Bishop's crease. Hornqvist waited right in front and tipped-in the shot for the one-goal lead.
The late tally stood as the game-winner as the Lightning were unable to overcome the three-goal rally from the Preds. The dropped decision was the Bolts second straight loss away from the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
UP NEXT – Tampa Bay heads to Dallas to face the stars at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The matchup is their first game of back-to-backs as they immediately head to Colorado to face the Avalanche Sunday. The four-game road trip is the longest remaining road trip on the Bolts' regular season schedule.