Lightning comeback falls short in 4-3 loss to Predators

Into the second, the Lightning had a scary moment when defenseman Matt Smaby went down to block a shot and ended up crashing into the end boards. Smaby missed a couple of shifts, but returned before the end of the period. Nashville was able to extend the lead to 3-1 at 17:55 of the second when defenseman Cody Franson was left alone coming down the slot on a semi breakaway and was able to put a deke on Tampa Bay goaltender Dan Ellis, then shooting the puck into what amounted to an empty net.

In the third, Nashville added to their lead when Colin Wilson got off a quick snap shot after a pretty passing play that saw Wilson looking at a wide open net. The Lightning did not pack it in though. Marty St. Louis got the Lightning within two at 15:01 with his third goal of the season. Adam Hall made things more interesting less then a minute later at 15:58 when he scored his first goal of the year.

The Lightning got a late power play when Martin Erat took a cross-checking penalty, sending Stamkos head first into the boards.

"I just went in there a little awkward, but its nothing that going to keep me from missing any games." Stamkos said.

At first look, it appeared that the hit was a lot worse then it really was, as Stamkos stayed down on the ice for a couple minutes, but he did not miss a shift. When asked about the severity of the penalty called, Stamkos agreed with it only being a two minute minor.

"It was kind of a quick play, I was kind of off balance. The combination of that and the guy gave me a little nudge. It was a quick play, I don't think he meant to do it."

[image-1]For Lightning coach Guy Boucher, the mistakes were costly.

“We played a very good team and lost in regulation, and you can see why," Boucher said. "They are very fast and they have some big bodies in there. We obviously made some costly mistakes and basically gave them breakaways and two-on-ones. So when we give that away, obviously we can’t beat a team like that.”

Former Nashville and current Tampa Bay goalie Dan Ellis has seen this before with Nashville.

“They are a hard-working team," he said. "They always seem to linger and stay in games. They got to us a little bit early and got a couple of bounces early that when we made blocks, it went right to their guys. It took us a little while to really play our game. It wasn’t really until the third period when we started to put pressure on them, but we need to do that earlier.”

The Lightning will need to do that early in their next game on Wednesday, Oct. 27, when the high-octane Pittsburgh Penguins pay a visit to the St. Pete Times Forum.

The Tampa Bay Lightning got off to a great start Sunday night against the Nashville Predators at the St. Pete Times Forum; then they dug themselves a hole that they just couldn't climb out of.

The Bolts got out of the starting gate quickly when Pavel Kubina stole the puck on an errant pass at the offensive zone blue line. He slid a pass to Sean Bergenheim, who skated in on a breakaway and beat Nashville goaltender Anders Lindback to put the Lightning ahead 1-0 at 6:30 of the first. Nashville was able to answer right back, though, when a deflected shot bounced right to Shea Weber; he was looking at an open net and tied the score at 11:54 of the first. Sergei Kostitsyn put Nashville ahead at the 15:04 mark when he found a loose puck in the crease after a shot from the high slot caused a scramble in front; it was his first goal of the year.

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