Tampa Bay Lightning 4 Winnipeg Jets 2 (Jets 19-22-4, Home 10-9-1) – The loss snapped the Jets three game home winning streak and extended their losing streak to four after the 0-3 road trip. It's the first time this season they have dropped four straight regulation games.
There wasn't a lot of offensive flow to Tuesday's game with the Lightning outshooting the Jets 5-2 in the first with Valtteri Filppula opening the scoring 1:20 in. The Jets capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play to tie the game 1-1. Olli Jokinen converted a Mark Scheifele pass, Jokinen's 11th on the year and first power play goal of the season. For Scheifele it was his 13th point in the last 14 games. Scheifele, who had five points in his first 24 games, now has 18 in his last 22 games. Dustin Byfuglien also had an assist on the goal.
There was a little more action in the second with the shots 12-7 in favour of the Lightning, with each team scoring a goal. The Jets took a 2-1 lead on a power play goal by Byfuglien, assists to Blake Wheeler and Ondrej Pavelec. Byfuglien now has 12 points, including four goals, in his last 13 games. Ondrej Palat tied the game at 15:37 on an odd man rush.
The third period was all Tampa. They outshot the Jets 16-5, outscored them 2-0 and watched as the Jets frustration level boiled over. Pavelec was the only reason this game stayed close as the final shots were 33-14. Marty St. Louis on a power play made it a 3-2 game, St. Louis then added an empty net goal to put the game away. In the final 15 minutes of the third the Jets took five minor penalties and a fighting major. On the empty net goal Zach Bogosian lost his footing and went hard into the back boards, and headed straight for the dressing room with an upper body injury. There was no post game update on his condition.
The Jet had only 14 shots, their lowest total this season. Scheifele played a season high 20:56, while Devin Setoguchi saw his ice time drop to a season low 5:35. Setoguchi has not scored in 17 games. Bryan Little has now gone 11 games without a goal. Playing seven games in 12 days seems to have taken a toll on the Jets as there was not a lot of jump to their game. Bogosian and Eric Tangradi each had three shots on goal. The power play connected twice, after going zero for 13 over the last six games.
From players to coach Claude Noel, the frustration was evident in the post-game interviews. “The game was poorly played, poorly executed. We did not get anything out of that game that was positive. For us this is the worst we've played. We had nothing. It was a very empty game and we got very little production.” When asked if he got enough out of his top players, Noel said, “The whole body of work was not very good. I'm not going to throw our best players under the bus. That's not going to happen. We'll look at it and try and figure out where we go from here.”
The Jets do not play again until Saturday when the three-game home stand continues against Columbus (TSN 1290), with Phoenix here Monday (TSN Jets, TSN 1290). Saturday will be Evander Kane's 300th NHL game. The 22-year-old has 11 points in the last 12 games, including seven goals.