This was going to be a tough game for the Lightning. The Kings are a difficult opponent to face because they don’t make many mistakes. They also entered the game on a roll, having won three consecutive home games. If the Bolts were going to sweep their California road trip, they’d have to execute well and limit their own mistakes.
What’s frustrating about this result is that the Lightning did many of the things they needed to in order to get points out of the game. They did limit their own mistakes. They battled hard for 50-50 pucks. They enjoyed good puck possession shifts in the offensive zone. And they generated more scoring chances than the Kings. They certainly generated enough scoring chances to win the game.
So why didn’t they win? First of all, they didn’t convert on enough of those chances. LA goalie Jonathan Quick was very good throughout the night (and he also caught a break early in the game when Nikita Kucherov deflected a shot off the post). Secondly, the Kings scored their first two goals off long-range shots – shots that Andrei Vasilevskiy typically stops. The second of those was a stinger, coming just 12 seconds after Brian Boyle had tied the game early in the second period. And lastly, the Lightning’s power play really hurt them in the game. The Bolts went 0-6 on the man advantage, including going 0-4 in the second period when they had both a long five-on-three and a separate four-on-three. As well as the Lightning did to generate scoring chances during five-on-five play, they simply did not do a good enough job on the power play.
The loss is disappointing, but it shouldn’t take away from the fact that the Lightning did earn four out of six points on this difficult trip. Now, they head home for two important games against Ottawa (one of the teams they are chasing in the Atlantic Division) and Washington (one of the hottest teams in the league).
Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game:
The failed second period power play chances.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game:
1.Jonathan Quick – Kings. 24 saves.
2.Brayden McNabb – Kings. GWG and assist.
3.Jonathan Marchessault – Lightning. Game-high five shots.