Recap: Lightning blown out by Senators
The Lightning are 0-2 on their road trip so far
Brian Elliott allowed six goals on 3.4 expected in a 7-2 Tampa Bay Lightning loss to the Ottawa Senators. Brayden Point scored his 45th goal of the season in the loss. Mikhail Sergachev scored, too, but that wasn’t the story of the night.
It was a bad night all around as the defenders gave up a ton of rushes to the Sens, and the forwards essentially took the night off. The shots leaders for the Lightning in this game were Cole, Eyssimont, Cernak, and Kucherov, none of whom got near the front of the net with their shots.
Rebound chances were also non-existent from the forwards that were up there. The one chance and out plays gave the Sens lots of chances the other way with numbers. A large portion of the team’s shots came from the point or the outside, and the Sens took advantage with 22 blocked shots on a night where the Lightning only managed 29 on net. The Lightning also lost a lot of battles deep in the offensive zone to a Sens defense that shouldn’t be that intimidating. The Lighting definitely just didn’t show up.
Alex DeBrincat had a three-point night as he and Brady Tkachuk each scored two goals for the Sens. Mads Sogaard stopped 27 of 29 for the win. Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev scored at 5v5 and on the power play for the Lightning. Each goal brought the team back to within one, but they weren’t close on the scoresheet for most of the game.
Brady Tkachuk had a good night, especially considering he went up against Victor Hedman.
DeBrincat really feeling it tonight, not just the two goals but also leading all skaters in share of chances in his minutes, in neutral zone deployment, primarily against Victor Hedman. pic.twitter.com/pyMOxd4Yow— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) March 24, 2023
Coming up are the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon and Monday night. These were supposed to be the easy games on this road trip but the Lightning are suddenly 0-2 on it. They have also fallen five points back of Toronto for second in the Atlantic.
This goal started the way most did in this game, with the Lighting slowly coming into the offensive zone and losing it with poor passing, reads, or support. In this case Stamkos held onto the puck too long as he got pressure from three sides and lost the puck. With three forwards caught, as well as Hedman trying to jump into the rush, DeBrincat scored.
DeBrincat scored again a few minutes later. This time a lost puck battle deep and the Lightning got beat by the stretch pass. Bogosian was theoretically there with DeBrincat, but he didn’t have the speed to keep up, then got dummied with a stop-up that gave DeBrincat enough space to get his shot off. Bogo got beat cleanly on that 1-on-1 and he knew it.
Holy turnovers, Batman. Holy slow, Robin. Holy flat, Joker.
Point got the Lightning on the board midway through the second period to give them some life, but it didn’t feel super optimistic because the Lightning’s offense was still very much coming from the outside and half their shots were getting blocked like in the first. That said, the goal came after a penalty kill where the Sens were dangerous and the Lightning did a good job of capitalizing on a tired and slightly disorganized group.
Kucherov and Stamkos got assists on Point’s tic-tac-toe goal. Kind of disappointing that Point’s 45th goal of the season was wasted on this game.
The Sens got a back-breaker in the dying minutes of the second period when Derick Brassard scored on a one-timer from the slot as the second power play unit regained the two-goal lead. There was a bit of a skirmish after the goal as Hedman ran through Chychrun with his skate and tripped him up. He didn’t get penalized for it, at least.
An even period between the Lightning and Senators, which would’ve been fine if the Lightning didn’t go into it losing by two goals.
An early power play goal from Sergachev, wiring a shot from distance, brought the Lightning back into the game a little bit early in the third. Not sure how I can describe a slapshot from the point on the power play other than the fact that it hit the top corner so perfectly the referee initially thought it went off the post. To be specific, the puck glanced off the puck, swung around the roof of the mesh and slingshotted back out towards Stamkos at the wing. Assists from Stamkos and Kucherov on the goal as the two finished the game with two apples each.
Another offensive zone giveaway by the Lightning, this time dumping it in for a line change, leads to a goal against. Erik Brannstrom saw so much space in front of him and knew no one would be able to keep up with him at full chaff so he went full Leeroy Jenkins up the middle, split the defense, and wired a shot to the top corner. Impressive goal.
Bogosian just kept backing up and backing up, as did Hedman. Gave Brannstrom all the space in the world. This goal came about a minute after the Sergachev goal, and pretty much ended the game at that point.
Tkachuk got in on the fun on the power play with seven minutes to go as he just barely got enough stick on the centering pass to deflect it home. This one was also on the power play. Sergachev and Cole completely left the space in front of the blue paint open for business.
Tkachuk hammered another nail in the coffin with an empty net goal that was very clean on execution on the side of Ottawa. The Lightning were just too far away and too slow themselves to slow them down.
Okay, are we done now? A defensive zone turnover by Cole and Austin Watson scores with five minutes to go in the game.