Unfortunately, the Lightning weren't able to replicate their performance from Thursday against Toronto. Here are the key takeaways from Saturday's loss to Ottawa.
- The Senators were hungry for their first win of the year. They skated with urgency, contested every loose puck, defended hard, and were committed to staying in their structure. They blocked 19 Lightning shots. While the Lightning matched Ottawa's level for parts of the game, they didn't do it consistently.
- The Lightning's power play had a rough night. On Thursday, the Lightning's PP not only contributed two goals, it provided a momentum boost. In this game, the opposite occurred. Back-to-back first period power play chances didn't even yield a shot on goal. A third chance early in the second resulted in only one shot on goal. Rather than the Lightning building off those power plays, the Sens gained energy from their strong kills.
- The Lightning made costly mistakes at critical times. Curtis McElhinney covered some of them up with key saves, but he couldn't erase all of them. The Bolts allowed two goals off odd-man rushes. The first of those came off a coverage breakdown and ill-timed line change that led to Colin White's open look from the right circle. Vlad Namestnikov's eventual game-winner on a two-on-one resulted from a neutral zone turnover. Ottawa's other (non empty-net) tally came in the final minute of the second period - a damaging goal to allow. J.G. Pageau was able to get open at the front of the net and bank in a rebound off McIlhinney after his initial shot went wide.
In the end, the Lightning dropped a decision to a determined team that didn't make many mistakes. In turn, the Sens effectively capitalized on Lightning miscues that proved to be the difference in the game.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game:
1. Vlad Namestnikov - Senators. Two goals and one assist.
2. Mathieu Joseph - Lightning.
3. Colin White - Senators. Goal.