There wasn't much good to come out of the Lightning's 4-3 loss to the Maple Leafs at Amalie Arena on Tuesday night.
Tampa Bay was outplayed for most of the first two periods, falling behind by a pair of goals and never managing to recover. Additionally, the Bolts played the third period without Steven Stamkos who exited the game after the second period with an injury.
The Bolts got off to a solid start with Nikita Kucherov opening the scoring midway through the first period. Stamkos made the play, deking past Rasmus Sandin and sending a backhand feed to set up Kucherov for a one-timer.
Video: TOR@TBL: Kucherov nets one-timer off Stamkos' feed
Toronto stormed back with a pair of goals to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. From below the goal line, Jason Spezza made a pass all the way to Jake Muzzin at the point and he wired a slap shot past Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Leafs then took the lead on the power play four minutes later with John Tavares tipping home a Tyson Barrie shot.
In the second, Pat Maroon had good positioning in front of the net and had the puck deflect off his skate and past Frederik Andersen to tie the game at two.
Once again, however, the Leafs responded with a pair of goals to push their lead to two. Less than a minute after Maroon tied the game, Tavares scored his second of the night and William Nylander followed that up with a strong backhand move on a power play to make it 4-2.
The third was by far Tampa Bay's best period of the game, with the Bolts outshooting the Leafs 14-3. Yanni Gourde's goal 7:27 into the final frame gave the Bolts some momentum but Toronto tightened up down the stretch to deny the equalizer.
Video: TOR@TBL: Gourde deflects puck in with body
Tampa Bay played the whole third period without Steven Stamkos. He never returned to the ice following the second intermission and it was announced that he wouldn't return to the game.
The Leafs' special teams units dominated play on Tuesday. Toronto went two-for-four with the man advantage and killed off all three Lightning power plays.
There were several new faces on the ice for the Lightning on Tuesday. Zach Bogosian and Barclay Goodrow made their Bolts debuts and Blake Coleman played in his first game at Amalie Arena for the Bolts. Goodrow was the only of the three to factor on the scoresheet, picking up the secondary assist on Gourde's goal in the third period.
The Bolts will now try to snap out of the three-game skid on Thursday night when they host the Blackhawks.
TBL | 9:46 Nikita Kucherov (30) - Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman
TOR | 12:48 Jake Muzzin (6) - Jason Spezza, Frederik Gauthier
TOR | 16:42 John Tavares (25) - Tyson Barrie, Auston Matthews - PPG
TBL | 11:54 Pat Maroon (8) - Cedric Paquette, Kevin Shattenkirk
TOR | 12:25 John Tavares (26) - William Nylander
TOR | 14:21 William Nylander (28) - Mitchell Marner, Tyson Barrie - PPG
TBL | 7:27 Yanni Gourde (9) - Kevin Shattenkirk, Barclay Goodrow