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Ever have one of those nights? It seemed that way for the Lightning last night. With the Bolts trailing, 2-1, and buzzing the New Jersey net early in the third period, I would’ve been willing to bet almost anything that they were going to tie the score. However, a third New Jersey goal seemed to totally deflate the Lightning, and then they “basically fell apart,” said John Tortorella.
Tortorella’s take on the current struggles is that the team is forgetting to play solid defense while pressing to create offense.
“We’re not generating enough offense, and trying to generate offense we forget about the defense,” he said after the 6-1 loss. “We have to do it by playing good defense first.
“Everyone’s frustrated,” he continued. “We need to concentrate on taking care of our area. Our offense will come to us if we play strong defense.”
In the hopes of changing up the team’s fortunes, it looks like Tortorella has given Andreas Karlsson the call for the first time this season. Karlsson came off the ice with the game group after today’s skate at the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, and Mathieu Darche stayed out late with scratches Doug Janik, Matt Smaby and Ryan Craig. Marc Denis looks like he’ll make his second start of the season against the Islanders, who will honor former Bolt Mike Sillinger for his 1,000th NHL game before the puck drop.
Going back to last night in Newark, things didn’t improve much for the Lightning after the game. A pipe in the Prudential Center ceiling sprung a leak and caused a small rain shower just outside the team’s locker room post-game. The team then boarded a bus for the one-hour, 44-mile ride to Garden City on Long Island, only to end up parked on a highway just over the George Washington Bridge for more than an hour because an accident closed the road.
Once the accident was cleared, construction forced the 10 lanes leading to the Throg’s Neck Bridge (to Long Island) to merge into a single lane. Two hours and 10 minutes after departing the arena, the Lightning pulled into the Garden City Hotel at 12:40 a.m.