Frustration is mounting for both the Tampa Bay Lightning and
Florida Panthers, who can’t seem to get on track.
Tampa Bay may have a better chance at righting the ship Tuesday
night as it goes for a seventh consecutive win over the NHL-worst
The Lightning (10-14-1) have gone 4-13-1 since Feb. 2, including
a 1-7-0 stretch over their last eight games. They still rank second
in the league in scoring, but have averaged 2.3 goals in their past
seven contests while going 3 for 27 on the power play.
Tampa Bay was in good position Saturday against Montreal before
allowing three unanswered goals in the third period of a 4-3
defeat. The Lightning were outshot 13-2 over the last 20
“Right now it gets our guys nervous whenever it gets close in
these moments, and you have to get rid of that,” coach Guy Boucher
said. “As you saw today again, they battled with a top team and
were right there, but it’s that confidence that comes with
Steven Stamkos scored his NHL-leading 19th goal and added an
assist, but Cedrick Desjardins stopped just 25 of 29 shots in his
“We’re not hungry to win, we’re scared to lose right now,”
Stamkos told the team’s official website. “When you’re in these
situations things creep into your head when you’re not winning
games and you’re finding ways to lose.”
The Lightning may be more confident against the Panthers
(7-13-6), having outscored Florida 27-15 during a 6-0-0 run in the
series, including two victories this season. They won 5-2 at home
Jan. 29, then erased a two-goal deficit in the third period of a
6-5 overtime road win Feb. 16.
Stamkos totaled three goals in those games to extend his
goal-scoring streak against the Panthers to seven contests.
Last in the league with 97 goals allowed, the Panthers have been
outscored 15-5 during an 0-2-1 skid overall. They recorded a
season-low 16 shots and gave up 38 in Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the
“It’s unacceptable,” said forward Shawn Matthias, who scored his
fourth goal in six games this month. “I’ve been through this
before. It’s not fun. I’m sick of losing, I’m sick of being down,
it’s wearing on you.”
Making his fourth consecutive start in place of the injured Jose
Theodore, Jacob Markstrom matched a career worst by allowing five
goals Sunday. He also surrendered five in a 5-1 loss at Tampa Bay
on Nov. 26, 2011, his only appearance against the Lightning.
Scott Clemmensen, meanwhile, is 2-3-2 with an NHL-worst 4.28
goals-against average this season. Clemmensen is 5-3-1 with a 2.94
GAA over nine career starts against Tampa Bay.
Slowing down Vincent Lecavalier could prove key. The Lightning
are 10-3-1 when he has at least one point compared to 0-11-0 when
he doesn’t, and the captain has 11 goals and 15 assists over his
last 22 games versus Florida.
Martin St. Louis has compiled four goals and six assists during
Tampa Bay’s winning streak in the series. He has two and seven over
a six-game point streak overall.
Anders Lindback is 2-4-0 with a 3.74 GAA on the road in 2013,
but has gone 3-0-0 with a 2.33 mark lifetime against the