A meeting against the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs in a back-to-back situation right after a big win against the Montreal Canadiens was enough to doom the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
The Lightning, one point back of the Habs for top spot in the Atlantic Division, lost to the Maple Leafs, who occupy a spot near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, by a final score of 3-1.
James Reimer made 40 saves for the win. The Leafs have now won two in a row.
Meanwhile, the Lightning is off to the post-season. But Tampa Bay, now with four games remaining in its regular season, missed out on an opportunity to jump back ahead of the Habs for the division lead.
“We laid a lot on the table last night, and we have not had the greatest success in back-to-backs this year and we have a young team,’’ said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper, as per the Tampa Tribune.
“It’s all part of learning, so it shouldn’t matter that you come in to face a team that is struggling in the second half of the season, they are proud players and they are trying to win a hockey game. We tried to win the hockey game and we just didn’t have it tonight.’’