|TOR||0||1||3||(0 - 0)||4|
|TBL||0||0||1||(0 - 0)||1|
TAMPA – For the Tampa Bay Lightning, it was another game derailed by injuries in a 4-1 loss to Atlantic Division rival the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The Bolts carried play through the majority of the first period and seemed like it would be a different story this time around against Toronto. In the end, the Maple Leafs turned the tide on the Lightning.
"I thought we more than handled ourselves in the first period," head coach Jon Cooper said. "We had a multitude of grade-A opportunities, some we passed on, which has been kind of an Achilles heel for us and the other ones (Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier) made the saves."
Despite allowing a goal early in the second, Ben Bishop helped the Bolts stay on course, but was noticeably missing to start the third period. It was then announced that he would not return to the game with an upper body injury. Minutes later a slash to Valtteri Filppula left him hunched over as he returned to the bench. Filppula left the game with a lower body injury.
"There were a lot of things thrown at us this game, you just have to stay in the moment and fight," captain Martin St. Louis said. "I don't think it was for lack of effort."
Bishop and Filppula will be reevaluated Friday, while Cooper did not comment on if any recalls would be made.
While shots were 6-0 Tampa Bay until nearly the 10-minute mark of the first period, a late interference penalty on Radko Gudas helped steer momentum in the Maple Leafs' direction. Shots ended in favor of Toronto 12-9 after 20 minutes of play, but the game remained scoreless.
After more than 27 minutes, Toronto took the lead at 7:57 of the second. Mason Raymond was able to get by Alex Killorn and get in alone on Bishop. Raymond then scored on a backhander that went over the Bolts netminder's left shoulder for a 1-0 lead.
Cedrick Desjardins entered the game and allowed two goals six minutes apart in the third period. The first came at 2:19 after Sami Salo and Victor Hedman were unable to take the puck away from David Clarkson as he then nudged it over to Jay McClement. McClement was left alone, with both Bolts blueliners on Clarkson, to help the Maple Leafs to a 2-0 lead. They extended their lead to three as James van Riemsdyk swatted the puck out of the air past Desjardins at 8:10.
Ondrej Palat cut Toronto's lead to two when he broke through two Maple Leafs' defenders and rushed down the slot and scored stick side on Jonathan Bernier for a 3-1 game at 10:28. St. Louis and Tyler Johnson both picked up helpers on the marker.
Tyler Bozak, however, scored an insurance goal with 2:52 remaining in the contest to seal the Lightning's fate in a 4-1 loss. The Bolts have now scored just four goals over their last three games.
"'Are we hitting the panic button? No,' St. Louis said. "We had 30-plus shots; I'd be concerned if we had 15 shots on goal."
UP NEXT – With NHL players traveling to Sochi for the Winter Games Sunday, Tampa Bay concludes play Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum versus the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings will be their sixth Atlantic Division opponent in their past eight games. After Saturday the Bolts will break until February 19th.
|Mason Raymond (15) ASST: Nikolay Kulemin (9), Morgan Rielly (17)|
1 - 0 TOR
|Jay McClement (3) ASST: David Clarkson (6), Joffrey Lupul (17)|
2 - 0 TOR
|James van Riemsdyk (23) ASST: Carl Gunnarsson (10), Phil Kessel (32)|
3 - 0 TOR
|Ondrej Palat (12) ASST: Martin St. Louis (30), Tyler Johnson (19)|
3 - 1 TOR
|EN - Tyler Bozak (12) ASST: Phil Kessel (33)|
4 - 1 TOR
|Radko Gudas Interference against Mason Raymond|
|Tim Gleason Roughing against Radko Gudas|
|Tim Gleason Roughing against Radko Gudas|
|Jonathan Bernier Roughing against J.T. Brown|
|Cedrick Desjardins Goalie leave crease|
|Radko Gudas Misconduct (10 min)|
|J.T. Brown Interference on goalkeeper against Jonathan Bernier|
|Tim Gleason Misconduct (10 min)|
|SA: 34||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 33||EV: 31 - 32|
|PIM: 2||PP: 2 - 2|
|SV%: .971||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 22||TOI: 40:00|
|Saves: 21||EV: 17 - 18|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 4|
|SV%: .955||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 13||TOI: 18:02|
|Saves: 11||EV: 11 - 13|
|PIM: 2||PP: 0 - 0|
|SV%: .846||SH: 0 - 0|
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