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Game 56: Sharks double up Lightning 4-2

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Defensive breakdowns are the key culprit again in the Lightning's second consecutive loss at home and the fourth in their last five, falling this time to the visiting San Jose Sharks 4-2.

San Jose's Joel Ward and Tampa Bay's Braydon Coburn battle during the Lightning's 4-2 loss in Tampa Tuesday night.
San Jose's Joel Ward and Tampa Bay's Braydon Coburn battle during the Lightning's 4-2 loss in Tampa Tuesday night.
Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports Images

The San Jose Sharks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Tuesday night.

Breakdowns. Lapses. Whoopsies. Defensive issues are costing the Lightning dearly right now, whatever you decide to call them.

"It's breakdowns for sure. We take penalties late in the third. You know, it's tough. We kill those off and we end up giving up a couple of five-on-five goals. So we have to tighten up defensively. That's another game that we give up four goals and we had our successes this year just giving up one or two goals. We have to get better defensively." - Ryan Callahan

Just when it started to look like the Lightning were unbeatable on home ice again after spending the early part of the season being mediocre-at-best at Amalie Arena, they're now on a two-game losing streak at home and have lost four of five.

"I mean, those are things that are going to happen in a game. There is going to be highs and lows. We just have to stay even keel and try to get the next one, obviously. It didn't happen for us tonight but we have to move forward." - J.T. Brown

Yeah, sure. But...

"You know we talked about getting the win here on home ice. A couple of breakdowns there and you know... These points are important and we are kind of letting them slip through." - Ben Bishop

The Lightning opened the scoring at 17:51 of the first when Ryan Callahan scored on assists from Alex Killorn and Andrej Sustr. For Callahan, he broke a streak of 18 games without scoring a goal.

That 1-0 lead would hold through the end of the period.

At 1:43 of the second, San Jose tied the game when Joel Ward scored, getting help from Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Matt Nieto.

The Sharks took their first lead when Joe Pavelski scored at 6:34, thanks in part to Victor Hedman inadvertently screening goalie Ben Bishop. Joe Thornton and Thomas Hertl were credited with assists.

The Lightning tied it up at 8:46, thanks to Cedric Paquette's goal, his first appearance on the scoresheet since recording an assist against Pittsburgh on January 15 and his first goal since November 14 versus Florida. J.T. Brown chipped in with the lone assist.

The period ended with the teams tied at two.

San Jose took the lead again and for the last time at 1:17 of the third, with Nieto scoring on assists from Patrick Marleau and Ward.

They added insurance at 18:17. Andrej Sustr's attempt to send the puck around the Lightning net hit referee Gord Dwyer and popped out to Thornton who fed Melker Karlsson for the goal.

"We have 26 games left and they're all going to be important. You can't have any spoints slip through and it's kind of check time." - Bishop

The Lightning will be in action again on Thursday when they host the Winnipeg Jets.

Game notes:

  • This was the final meeting of the regular season between San Jose and Tampa Bay, with the teams splitting the two decisions.
  • The Lightning are 9-9-0  with a tie all-time at home against the Sharks, with three straight losses, and 16-17-0 with two ties overall.
  • The Lightning haven't allowed a power play goal in their last four games and have only allowed two in their last 12, going 39-for-41 (95.1%) on the kill over that span.
  • Matt Carle played in his 700th NHL game tonight. He was originally drafted by the Sharks in 2003 and made his NHL debut for them in 2006.
  • This is only the fifth time Tampa Bay has lost a game in regulation when Callahan scores a goal since he joined the Lightning. The team's record is now 26-5-2 under those circumstances.
  • The Magic Number is Three: The Lightning are now 8-20-1 when failing to score that many.
  • The Lightning honored Lynne Knowles as the 30th Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-16 season during the first period of tonight's game. Knowles, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) and Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office (DACCO). Tonight's community hero is known for fighting adversity and making a widespread difference in the community. Knowles daughter, Jamie, died at the age of 23 from an accidental overdose and has turned a loss of life into a dedicated fight against substance abuse. She has volunteered over 4,000 hours with NOPE, providing presentations to middle and high school students that share her daughter's experience with addiction. Her presentations have reached out to the lives of more than 27,000 students and has opened the line of communication between students, teachers, administration and parents. Knowles hopes the negative stigma from addiction is eradicated in addition to giving hope to those who hear Jamie's story. Knowles becomes the 209th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $10.6 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.