The Lightning were coming off Thursday's win in Boston, a game in which they defended very well during five-on-five play. Unfortunately, they were unable to replicate that performance on Saturday against Colorado.
Certainly, the Avs deserve credit for making high-skill plays to generate chances, opportunities they finished with great efficiency. They scored six goals on only 24 shots. But the Lightning contributed to Colorado's attack. Unlike on Thursday, when they managed the puck effectively and displayed tight coverage (both off the rush and in the defensive zone), the Lightning committed costly turnovers and endured leaky coverage against the Avs. Three of the first four Colorado goals came moments after Lightning turnovers. The other - Colorado's second goal - was off the rush. The three second period tallies for the Avs came within a three-minute span and broke open a 1-1 game.
The other storyline from this contest was the play of Avalance netminder Pavel Francouz. Making just his second NHL start, Francouz stopped 44 of 46 Lightning shots. It's true that his teammates defended hard in front of him, but Francouz also helped his cause by making a handful of saves on Grade-A Lightning chances.
Already this season, the Lightning have talked frequently about the need to tighten up defensively. That didn't happen in this game and the Avalanche were able to take advantage.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito):
- Tyson Jost - Avalanche. Hat trick.
- Pavel Francouz - Avalanche. 44 saves.
- Colin Wilson - Avalanche. Three assists.