The Lightning are ‘playing like a fragile team that’s scared to lose,’ says Stamkos


The Tampa Bay Lightning’s up-and-down season has entered another dip.

The Bolts dropped their second straight last night in Dallas, blowing a 3-2 lead and falling 4-3 to the Stars. They’re now 1-4-1 since winning nine in a row.

“We’re playing like a fragile team that’s scared to lose and not hungry to close out a game,” said captain Steven Stamkos, per the Tampa Bay Times. “We can’t let that fear of losing creep in at this time of year.”

Added coach Jon Cooper, “Got to start winning or we won’t play much longer.”

The Lightning were outshot 33-20 by the Stars. If it were just one game, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Dallas is a pretty good team, and Tampa Bay was on the road.

But in the past six games, the Bolts have also been outplayed and beaten by the Maple Leafs, and they were outplayed and beaten twice by the Flyers. Their only win came over the Blue Jackets.

As it stands right now, the Lightning’s most likely first-round opponent is Boston. If that happens, it would be a rematch of the 2011 Eastern Conference Final that the Bruins won in seven.

The Lightning’s next game is Saturday night in Arizona

Related: Yzerman calls Drouin’s return to Bolts ‘very realistic’