Friday, January 9, 2009

Lightning Fall in Phoenix

by JC De La Torre

The Tampa Bay Lightning faced a team that had been shut out in two straight games and gave up three goals including the eventual game winner in the third period to fall to the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2. Andrej Meszaros scored his first goal as a member of the Lightning and Jeff Halpern had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay. Phoenix's Olli Jokinen ended the Coyotes' scoreless streak at the 12:17 mark of the first period to tie the game at 1.

Peter Mueller scored on the power play forty-six seconds into the first period, giving the Coyotes a 2-1 lead. It would hold until the midway mark of the second, when Halpern put in a rebound off of a Vaclav Prospal shot to tie the game at 2.

At the 8:09 mark of the third, Kyle Turris defelected David Hale's shot past Lightning goalie Mike Smith to give the lead back to the Coyotes. Tampa Bay managed only six shots in the third and mounted few chances against the Phoenix defense.

"I'm really disappointed in the team right now," Lightning Interim Head Coach Rick Tocchet said to the St. Petersburg Times following the game, "That was unacceptable. We never showed up. It's probably the most disappointed I've been as coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning."

Unfortunately for Tocchet, there's been far too many of these type of nights.

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