The Tampa Bay Lightning opened a five-game, eight-day road trip with a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks Sunday night.
Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan each had a goal and an assist while Valtteri Filppula added two helpers for the Lightning, who avoided a third straight loss.
“We wanted to start this road trip on the right foot, and we did,” said Stamkos per NHL.com. “We gave them a couple of good looks but [Ben Bishop] was there, and we capitalized on our chances. [That] was a big game for [Bishop] to get his mojo back. He was terrific tonight.”
Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat and Cedric Paquette had Tampa’s other goals. Bishop, who had been pulled in two of his last three starts, made 33 saves to improve to 28-10-3 on the season.
Logan Couture and Brent Burns had the goals for the Sharks.
Antti Niemi stopped 28 shots in the loss.
San Jose is now winless five straight at home this month. San Jose has just one win in their last five overall as well.
“This is frustrating,” Couture said. “The mistakes we make are things we work on, we practice on and watch video. When you constantly make the same mistakes every single night, you question whether you are prepared to play.
“These are things that should have been fixed in Week 2 of the season. We all go through training camp learning the system. You have to play it. I don’t care whether you’re a rookie or a veteran. Our attention to details is not where it should be. It’s the entire team. You lose when the team is not on the same page and that’s what we’re going through right now.”
Things don’t get easier for the Sharks who head to Nashville on Tuesday for a meeting with the Predators.
Tampa continues its road trip Monday against the L.A. Kings.
The NHL’s most unpredictable team will be back in action tonight when they visit the Coyotes in Arizona.
Bet on the result at your own peril, given this is how it’s gone the last 10 games for the San Jose Sharks:
The general rule it seems? Win the tough ones, lose the not-so-tough ones.
As a result, after earning one measly point in a three-game home stand in which the Sharks were favored all three times, their chances of making the playoffs have fallen to 59.1 percent, per Sports Club Stats.
It’s hard to explain why the Sharks have, for the most part, been successful against the good teams while suffering losses to the likes of Buffalo (twice), Edmonton (also twice), Columbus (again, twice), Carolina, and New Jersey. Logan Couture thinks it might have something to do with “youth.”
Whatever the reason, they know they need to figure it out.
“Enough is enough in terms of our inconsistent play. We can’t keep riding this roller coaster for the rest of the year,” forward Tommy Wingels said, per the Mercury News. “Before you know it, the season will be wasted away and we’ll look back on it and not be happy missing the playoffs. We’ve got to step it up and find a way to start winning consistently.”
Jay Beagle scored twice and set up Joel Ward’s overtime-winner as the Washington Capitals edged the San Jose Sharks 5-4 Wednesday night.
Beagle now has as many points this season (17) as he did in the past two seasons combined.
With the loss the Sharks picked up just one of a possible six points on their three-game home stand. Washington has now won four of five.
Troy Brouwer and John Carlson had the other Caps goals.
Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Orpik each had two assists and Braden Holtby made 26 saves in the win.
Brent Burns scored twice in a 22-second span of the second period while Logan Couture and Joe Thornton had the other Sharks goals. Couture also had an assist in the loss passing Dan Boyle for 10th spot on the Sharks’ all-time points list (270).
Patrick Marleu and Matt Nieto each had two assists for the Sharks.
Antti Niemi made 28 saves in the loss.
San Jose won the only other meeting between the two clubs 6-5 in a shootout on Oct. 14.