Game 76: Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins
The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Boston Bruins 5-2.
Steven Stamkos scored his 54th and 55th goals on the season, while Dwayne Roloson played his second game in two days. Victor Hedman returned to the lineup after being out due to illness the game before. And the Lightning had three more shots on goal than the previous night.
I think that pretty much sums it up, doesn't it.
The biggest differences between this game and the game the night before were the number of blocked shots and faceoff wins. The Lightning has blocked 25 shots during the game with the Flyers, and blocked 17 shots against the Bruins. Which doesn't really seem like much of a difference, except until you look at the score. Maybe it wasn't possible to block all five of those goals, but it's something to consider.
Not that a team should have to rely on shot blocking to win a game, of course. There are plenty of other factors going into things. Such as the fact that Roloson isn't always that great in the second game of back-to-backs. He definitely earned the start with his spectacular play against Philadelphia, but perhaps he should've been sat out, anyways.
As for faceoffs, the Lightning won 46% of the total faceoffs for the game against the Flyers - which was actually much better earlier in the game. Against the Bruins, the Lightning won only 31% of their faceoffs. While it's true that sometimes faceoffs are lost intentionally for tactical reasons (winning a faceoff right in front of your goalie doesn't accomplish much but helping the other team put a shot on goal, for instance), faceoffs do help with puck possession. And, let's face it, if a team doesn't have the puck then they can't usually score.
But, look at it this way. At least the Lightning don't have to play the Bruins again this season. If you look hard enough, there's always a silver lining, right?
The next game is at the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, 29 March. Game time is 7 pm Eastern. The Raw Charge game thread will be available at 6:30 pm, so come join us watch Stamkos on his march to 60 goals this season.