The Tampa Bay Lightning dropped a road game to the Minnesota Wild by a score of 4-2 on Sunday afternoon. Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 33 of 36 shots in the loss, while counterpart Cam Talbot only needed to make 28 saves on 30 shots to get the win. Corey Perry and Alex Killorn scored for the Lightning, while Nick Bjugstad, Victor Rask, Ryan Hartman, and Marcus Foligno (EN) scored for the Wild. It was a close game for most of the afternoon, but things fell away from the Lightning in the third period as the Wild really put on the pressure.
Mathieu Joseph left the game in the second period after colliding with Ryan Hartman. He ended up not returning to the game and is going to be re-evaluated before the team’s game on Tuesday in St. Louis. I missed the hit and couldn’t find a replay for you guys, but Joseph did try to come back just before the third, but something didn’t seem right when he stepped onto the ice. We also know Joseph went through concussion protocol, but Jon Cooper says that is unrelated to his injury.
We will know more on Tuesday ahead of the game against the St. Louis Blues. It’s very likely we will see the team make a call-up from the Syracuse Crunch as they only have 12 forwards on their trip including Joseph. Gabriel Dumont, anyone?
Jon Cooper didn't offer an update on Mathieu Joseph, who left game in 2nd period after collision with Hartman and didn't return. Coop said Joseph had to come off for concussion protocol but his inability to return was unrelated. #TBLvsMIN #Bolts— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) November 28, 2021
Nick Bjugstad opened the scoring off the rush after he and Nico Sturm got around a flat-footed Victor Hedman trying to hold the line at the offensive zone. He has support behind him in Jan Rutta and Joseph back-checking, but the moment Bjugstad noticed he had a forward-skating winger checking him, he skated around the outside of Joseph and beat Vasilevskiy high on the short side.
Corey Perry came right back within the minute to tie the game with his second goal of the season, with a rush chance while the Wild were announcing their goal. Patrick Maroon and Perry both pressured Kirill Kaprizov into giving the puck away to Mikhail Sergachev before he sent Pierre-Edouard Bellemare going the other way with a stretch pass. The Frenchman found Perry in the open ice and he took a shot from the top of the slot that beat Talbot.
Unfortunately, the Lightning didn’t get to take a tie into the second period as Victor Rask scored with a few minutes left to go in the period, beating Vasilevskiy with a centering pass from behind the net by Freddy Gaudreau. The Wild had two layers of attack coming to the front of the net in Fiala and Rask, and while Rutta was there to tie the stick up of Fiala, none of the three second line forwards got to Rask in time.
It was a better period for the Lightning on the shot clock despite going down the tunnel down by one after one. They were ahead in shot attempts, 22-21, and ahead in expected goals share, with 57% of them. The Wild have long been a team that doesn’t get many chances, but the chances they do get are right in front of the net and dangerous. This was not the care in this first period as the Wild took lots of shots, but few of them were from very close to the net (ie. low xG). The Lightning, however, had the measure in shot quality.
The Lightning rallied after giving up that goal at the tail end of the first period, carrying that play onto the second period as well. Unfortunately, that energy was slightly halted as Joseph was forced to leave the game after colliding with Ryan Hartman.
And there you have it. Alex Killorn ties the game midway through the second period off another face-off win from Steven Stamkos. You might remember a couple games ago Stamkos set up Alex Barre-Boulet for a goal off a face-off too. That one was quick off the draw, but this one was a lot different. After the face-off, Stamkos and Sergachev made their way to the front of the net and caused chaos while Killorn slowly wandered around the perimeter of the ice to the left point. He then floated a shot through the maze of bodies that found its way in.
One thing I’ll mention here is that Zach Bogosian took three minor penalties in a row in the middle of the frame, but luckily the Lightning didn’t give up a goal. While on paper it looked like a relatively even period (14-all the shot attempts), the Lightning were suddenly giving up a lot of scoring chances. They only had a quarter of the expected goals the Wild were able to generate. That said, a lot of that came from one chance by Rask on Vasilevskiy that also got Bogosian in trouble with another penalty.
After a long stalemate, Ryan Hartman finally broke the tie midway through the third period on a goal from Kaprizov and Rem Pitlick.
And then they scored on the empty netter to make it 2-4.