With an opportunity to move into a playoff spot, the Tampa Bay Lightning stumbled last night, losing 6-4 at home to the Winnipeg Jets.
“We just didn’t defend,” head coach Jon Cooper said afterwards. “We thought about one net only and once you do that, that’s it for you. Next thing you know it’s 4-1, and that’s a long way to come back.
“It’s tough, too, in this league, to score four goals and lose. That’s tough, and we found a way to do that tonight. We let one slip through our fingers tonight.”
So instead of moving into third place in the Atlantic Division, the Lightning (19-16-4) actually fell into fifth, behind the Maple Leafs, who got a point in Washington.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed five goals on 33 shots against the Jets. Based on Cooper’s remarks, the loss was not the netminder’s fault. But Vasilevskiy’s save percentage fell to .914, which isn’t bad, but it’s not great either.
With Ben Bishop sidelined (lower-body injury), Vasilevskiy is getting an opportunity to show he can be a No. 1. And so far, it’s fair to say the results have been mixed for the 22-year-old.
Next up for the Lightning, the Nashville Predators pay a visit Thursday. That will be a battle of two teams that were expected to compete for a Stanley Cup this season, but are currently outside the playoff picture.