For the Lightning, this one had some good - and some not-so-good.
First, the not-so-good. The Lightning surrendered a 2-1 lead late in the third period and had to settle for only one point.
After facing only three shorthanded situations during the past two games combined, they took five penalties leading to Nashville power plays tonight. Two of those were bench minors for too many men. And the penalties did hurt. The Predators scored both of their goals during regulation on the power play - and the OT winner came four seconds after another penalty ended.
The Lightning made some costly mistakes. Moments before the Preds scored both the tying goal in the third and winning tally in OT, the Lightning had a chance to clear pucks from the defensive zone - but didn't.
Still, there was also plenty to like about the Lightning's performance. Their forecheck was relentless for most of the night - and caused major problems for the Predators in the Nashville end. Their up-ice pressure led to a high volume of long, sustained offensive zone shifts.
While the final stat sheet shows that the Preds recorded 40 shots in the game, that number doesn't reflect how well the Lightning played without the puck. The Lightning's five-on-five d-zone structure was solid, so the Predators didn't generate many scoring chances in the game. So even though the Lightning were outshot, 40-30, they owned more of the dangerous looks.
In the end, it feels as though the Lightning should have banked the second point. They outplayed the Predators for the majority of the game. But penalties got them in trouble and then, when they made some key mistakes, the Predators made them pay.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito):
- Calle Jarnkrok - Predators. Goal and assist.
- Roman Josi - Predators. Goal and two assists.
- Steven Stamkos - Lightning. PPG. Won 15 of 20 faceoffs.