This just wasn’t the Lightning’s night. They went toe-to-toe with the St. Louis Blues and, for much of the night, carried play. They did a lot of good things that helped them control the puck for the majority of the evening. And, after allowing seven goals in the first two games of the trip, the Lightning, as they did in Chicago on Saturday, defended very well.
Ultimately, though, the Blues made the one play that proved to be the difference in the game: a Scott Gomez tip gave St. Louis the only goal it would score against Ben Bishop. The other goal came in the final minute into an empty net.
At times in this game, the Lightning struggled to cleanly exit their own zone. There was a sequence late in the first when the Lightning committed a couple of d-zone turnovers, then iced the puck. The Blues won the ensuring faceoff and, after a Carl Gunnarsson shot went wide, Troy Brouwer tipped the rebound off Alex Killorn’s stick back to Colton Parayko at the point. Parayko’s shot went off Gomez’s stick past Bishop.
But the Blues were guilty of making several d-zone errors as well. The Lightning’s forecheck did a nice job in forcing some of those turnovers and that helped account for their puck possession advantage. But unlike the Blues, the Lightning couldn’t quite find a way to make a play that resulted in a goal. They hit three posts during the night. Also, like the Lightning, the Blues defended effectively without the puck. So it became difficult for the Bolts to generate many open looks. When they did create chances, goalie Jake Allen made the saves. Allen’s rebound control also was excellent in this game. Second chance shots were infrequent for the Lightning and, in the event he allowed one rebound after a shot, Allen made sure he covered the puck after making a second save.
Bishop, too, was solid in this game. He made several good saves on the dangerous Vladimir Tarasenko and also stopped three Grade-A chances for rookie Robby Fabbri.
The Lightning wrapped up this challenging trip with four out of eight points. It’s disappointing that they couldn’t add to their total after banking four points in the first three games. But in all, taking four points isn’t bad, especially considering the quality of the opposition. Now the Lightning must take care of business at home in the next two games against Colorado and Boston before beginning another four-game road trip on Sunday in Carolina.
Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game:
Gomez’s winning goal.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game:
1.Jake Allen – Blues. 26 saves for shutout win.
2.Ben Bishop – Lightning. 22 saves on 23 shots.
3.Colton Parayko – Blues. Assist.