Flames’ Quick Strikes in Second Take Down Lightning

by | Mar 8, 2024

Flames’ Quick Strikes in Second Take Down Lightning

by | Mar 8, 2024

TAMPA, Fla – Calgary Flames center Yegor Sharangovich scored two goals some 2:33 apart midway through the second period. Then, Jakob Pelletier added a third marker just 51 seconds after the second Sharangovich goal and the Flames dominated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 6-3, in Amalie Arena on Thursday evening.

Calgary outplayed the Lightning, who fell to 1-4-1 at home in their last six outings, the strangeness of the Bolts’ lack of energy was led by what morphed into potentially the toughest 60 minutes on ice for Tampa Bay this season.

Bolts coach Jon Cooper noted that there were five days since the last game which was a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens in Amalie Arena.  Lightning players had been given opportunities to clear their minds and rest to get ready for the Flames, who had a five-game winning streak snapped by the Seattle Kraken on Monday evening.

“They had time away from the rink,” noted Cooper. “Time together, a couple of practices, We couldn’t have laid it out more perfectly for them to come out and put a show on for the fans and they did the complete opposite.”

Cooper was noticeably provoked and irritated with the overall effort as he described the Lightning’s level of play Thursday evening as “a little more than embarrassing.”

A few weeks ago, the Lightning agreed on needing to pile up points throughout the middle and the later part of the season to push its playoff streak to seven consecutive years. The 2020 and 2021 seasons added an exclamation point of a Stanley Cup Championship while a third was a Finals loss to the Colorado Avalanche in 2022.

“You know in saying all this, I don’t want this to mean, ‘Oh my gosh, if we would have played well, we would have beaten Calgary,’” said Cooper. “I thought Calgary was excellent. It didn’t matter who we were going to play. The product they put on the ice tonight for our fans was kind of inexcusable.”

Tampa Bay had raised its game and went 3-1-1 over the last five outings. The Bolts still maintained a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with the Detroit Red Wings as both have 72 points.

Lightning forward Conor Sheary tied the game at 1-1 at the 14:28 mark in the first period on a pass from Nicholas Paul. It was only Sheary’s second goal of the season as his last was on Nov. 2 in a 4-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Lightning center Steven Stamkos and forward Nikita Kucherov assisted Anthony Cirelli’s 14th goal of the season to cut the Flames lead to 4-2. At 12:29 in the second, Blake Coleman and Andrew Mangiapane gave Calgary a 6-2 lead as the Flames wound up outshooting the Lightning, 24-22, and they also blocked 21 shots to only nine for Tampa Bay.

Bolts center Michael Eyssimont finished scoring with his third-period goal at 14:35. Nicholas Paul added his second assist of the evening while Sheary followed his goal with an assist.

The Lightning won 37 of 53 face-offs, but never really were able to build momentum with scores.

“The execution was horrendous, but the decision-making was probably even worse than that,” Cooper said. “That was a tough one.”

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