Tampa Bay Lightning Battered in Road Trip Finale


Oct 25, 2014; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild celebrate a goal by forward Jason Zucker (16) during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries, a long road trip and the second night of a back-to-back finally caught up to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Bolts dropped the final game of a 5-game road trip 7-2 to the Minnesota Wild Saturday night after an all round poor performance.

Evgeni Nabokov was pulled just 17:15 into the game after giving up four goals on eight shots. Although he didn’t receive much help defensively, Nabokov gave up a couple of softies that would be routine saves any other night.

Marco Scandella and Mikko Koivu made it 2-0 after just 8:16 before the Bolts (5-3-1) got back into the game thanks to Anton Stralman’s first goal of the season. However, Erik Haula and Jason Zucker would extend Minny’s (4-2) lead before Nabokov was pulled in favour of Ben Bishop.

The Lightning’s number one goalie didn’t fare much better to start the second as Zach Parise and Jared Spurgeon made it 6-1 but the Lightning got a goal back as Nikita Kucherov tipped in Stralman’s goal-bound effort.

The Wild completed the scoring with 6:14 left as Zucker was sprung on a breakaway shorthanded and beat Bishop for their seventh goal of the night.

Bishop made 11 saves in relief while Darcy Kuemper made 17 stops.

The Lightning were without J.T. Brown and Brett Connolly, who were both hurt in last night’s win against Winnipeg. Mike Blunden and Jonathan Marchessault took their spots in the line up.

Tampa Bay has the next two days off before opening a 4-game home stand against Arizona Tuesday night.