Visibly defeated after a 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames Thursday, the Tampa Bay Lightning were able to take some positives away from the game after sleeping on it.
"The score turns out the same and that's disappointing," head coach Jon Cooper said. "But it was one of our top three games with puck possession we've had all year."
The team had some missed opportunities that Cooper believed were "self inflicted." This included breakdowns of communication for a few first period shifts that led to a quick deficit that was hard to overcome despite good play in the final 40 minutes.
"If you give a team two goals early, they'll shut you down by playing trap," Mark Barberio said. "We had offensive chances in the second and third, but we have to make sure we're consistent for a full 60 minutes."
With the Phoenix Coyotes nipping at the Dallas Stars' heels for the second of two Wild Card positions in the West, the Stars will be the perfect opponent to get the Bolts back on track Saturday.
"It's great because Dallas will be playing playoff hockey and it will force us to play playoff hockey."
The Stars might also be looking for a little revenge, as last time the two clubs met Dallas outplayed the Lightning, but netminder Ben Bishop helped pull out the win for Tampa Bay
ERNE TO PLAY FOR CRUNCH
Forward Adam Erne is expected to play in his first game with the Lightning's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate the Syracuse Crunch Friday.
Erne was signed to a three-year entry level contract with the Lightning on April 1st after his Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team, the Quebec Remparts, were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Erne had one goal in one game played for the Remparts.
The Crunch faceoff with the Albany Devils in Syracuse at 7 p.m.
BEST MALE ATHLETE
Tampa native and 2014 USA Sled Hockey gold medalist, Declan Farmer, was nominated by the International Olympic Committee for Best Male Athlete in the 2014 Paralympic games.
Farmer, 16, led Team USA to wins over Canada and Russia to capture the Gold Medal, while leading the team in scoring.
After dropping the ceremonial first puck at Tuesday's game, Farmer said he plans to tryout for Team USA again this summer and play in the 2015 World Championships next year.
To vote for Farmer follow this link and vote on the main page poll: http://www.paralympic.org/
OTHER ODDS 'N ENDS
- Defenseman Andrej Sustr was recalled from the Crunch Friday.
- Douglas Murray had his hearing with the league Thursday morning and received a three-game suspension for his hit on Michael Kostka.
- The Flames blocked 24 shots versus the Bolts.
- Tyler Johnson led all Lightning skaters with five shots on goal. He was also 13-for-18 (72%) in the face-off circle.