Tampa Bay Lightning Game 59: versus the Boston Bruins

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Boston Bruins 5-4.

Antero Niitymaki was shelled for four goals, but the loss was given to Mike Smith. It works just like it does with baseball pitchers. The game winning goal was scored on Mike Smith, so he gets the loss. Is it fair? Maybe not, but it’s sort of hard to give the loss to the defense even though they’re the ones that really earned it.

Not that it was all of the defense’s fault. Some of it were the forwards. And Niitymaki isn’t entirely blameless. Frankly, there’s plenty of blame to be spread around.

But the fact of the matter is, the Lightning allowed the Bruins 18 shots on goal in the first period – four of which went into the net. The forwards weren’t forechecking, the defense wasn’t standing guys up at the blue line, and the goals went in. And that’s how you lose hockey games.

Oh sure. They staged a remarkable comeback the last half of the game. Steve Downie scored two goals, Martin St. Louis scored two goals as well, and Steven Stamkos had three assists on the night. The almost managed to come back from a 5-0 deficit and at least tie the game to head it into overtime.

But that was the last half of the game. What were they doing in the first half? Not much. The Lightning broke a four-game winning streak, losing to a team that they were better than. As was obvious by how they dominated the second half of the game.

The next game is Saturday, 13 February, at the New York Islanders. Game time is 2 pm Eastern. Keep that in mind – both games this weekend are afternoon starts.

Coming up next, our Olympic hockey coverage begins. Today is Day 1 of the Winter Olympics, with the Opening Ceremonies tonight in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Stay tuned!

Bruins vs Lightning coverage [SB Nation]

Stanley Cup of Chowder [SB Nation Boston Bruins site]

Bruins vs Lightning recap [TSN]

Bruins vs Lightning boxscore [TSN]