The Winnipeg Jets came into Tampa Bay desperately looking for a win after dropping the last two road games against Montreal and Florida. Unfortunately, the book didn't exactly write the way Coach Noel or any of the Jets players would have preferred as they fell 8-3 to an impressive Tampa Bay roster.
The Lightning scored three power play goals by the end of the first period making the well pretty deep to climb out of. Things went from bad to worse as the home team added three more in the second to go up 6-0 after two periods.
Tobias Enstrom got the Jets on the board, Paul Postma notched his first career NHL goal and Andrew Ladd added one of his own all in the third period, but it would not be enough as the Lightning added a couple more of their own and took the game 8-3, Friday night.
"Disappointing in a lot of aspects," said Ladd post-game. "Five on five I thought we played pretty well but when you spot a team four goals it's tough to battle back especially in a back to back.
"We can't afford to do this again. To dig yourself that big of a hole two games in a row, two big road games against two division teams is unacceptable and something that will not happen again."
The Jets got the first power play of the game just under three minutes into the first period as Adam Hall went off for interference. The Jets had a few chances on the early advantage but failed to get the puck into the net.
Three minutes later, Redmond went to the box for hooking sending the Lightning to their first power play and Cory Conacher made the Jets pay. Matt Carle blasted a slap shot from the point that Coniker just got a piece of to redirect it past Pavelec. Conacher's 10th point and 4th goal of the season made it 1-0.
At the 12:11 mark of the period, Chris Thorburn took a five minute checking-from-behind penalty as well as a game misconduct, sending him to the dressing room for the rest of the night. Things got worse quickly as Hainsey took a delay-of-game penalty moments later putting the dangeorous Lightning team on a long 5-on-3. Steven Stamkos made the Jets pay again as he connected with a one-timer from Teddy Purcell at 14:11. Jets down 2-0.
Penalty woes continued for the Jets as Mark Stuart was caught for cross-checking seconds after the goal. With still a minute or so remaining on the major to Thorburn, the Lightning were back on a 5-on-3 and this time it was Vincent Lecavalier to find the back of the net. Martin St.Louis made a nice cross-ice pass onto Lecavalier's stick who released a quick shot past Pavelec. 3-0 Lightning, all on the power play.
Shots through 20 minutes were 10-7 Lightning.
The Lightning kept their momentum rolling into the second period as Conacher added his second of the night on another redirection in front of the net to make it 4-0 Tampa Bay.
Nate Thompson made it 5-0 on a sharp angle shot that trickled past Pavelec into the back of the net. The Lightning's fifth goal of the night triggered a goaltender change as Al Montoya came in to relieve Pavelec.
Exactly one minute later, Purcell made it 6-0 Lightning. Stamkos carried the puck into the Jets zone and found Purcell open in the slot. He got off a quick snap shot that beat Montoya to finish the play.
That's all the damage that would be done through two periods of play as the Jets went to the dressing room trailing 6-0 to the Lightning. Shots through 40 minutes were 17-16 Lightning.
Tobias Enstrom finally put the Jets on the board at 5:34 of the final period on a tough angle that just squeezed past Anders Lindback. Paul Postma and Andrew Ladd picked up the helpers on Enstrom's goal. 6-1 Lightning.
Moments later, Postma net his first NHL goal on the power play after the Lightning took a too may men penalty. Bryan Little had the puck behind the net after a missed shot by Enstrom. Little took a look and saw Postma alone in the slot. He sent a perfect pass onto his tape and he snapped one into the back of the net. 6-2 TB.
Just over two minutes later. Ryan Malone killed the Jets momentum scoring goal number seven for the Lightning from Lecavalier and Conacher and it's 7-2.
This game wasn't over....with Keith Aulie in the box for hooking, the Jets went back to the power play. Postma made an excellent cross-ice feed over to Andrew Ladd in the right face-off circle, he made no mistake snapping the puck past Lindback. Postma and Enstrom both picked up their third point of the night on the goal.
Benoit Pouliot made it 8-3 for the Lightning at with 1:25 remaining in regulation and that would seal the deal for Tampa Bay as 13 of their players made it to the score board tonight.
The Jets will be happy to get out of Florida and come back to Winnipeg to play five of the next six in their home building. They will have a couple of days of to get some practices in before a rematch against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.