TAMPA, Fla.—The score may have been different from Tuesday night’s disaster against the Hurricanes in Raleigh, but the story in Tampa on Thursday was all the same. For the second straight outing, the Knights rolled over in the second period.
On Tuesday it was a symptom of an awful night in general. On Thursday, it was an isolated collapse that completely negated winning efforts in the other two periods. Regardless, they’ve been beaten down by an aggregate score of 7-0 in their last two middle stanzas.
How it happened
Jonathan Marchessault opened the scoring by tallying his 16th goal of the season for the Knights courtesy of a primary assist from Paul Cotter just before the 12 minute mark. Ivan Barbashev put the Knights ahead 2-0 later in the first off captain Mark Stone’s 24th assist on the primary. Jack Eichel got his 23rd assist of the season by tallying the secondary assist on the goal.
The second period nightmare for the Knights began just past the eight minute mark of the period thanks to a goal from Alex Barre-Boulet. Seven and a half minutes later, Nikita Kucherov scored on a 5-on-3 after Nic Roy took a penalty for fighting and Alex Pietrangelo joined him in the bin after a delay of game call. 30 seconds after that, Brayden Point ended the power-play entirely by scoring his 15th goal of the season to put the Lightning ahead 3-2.
Before the end of the second, another Brayden Point goal made it 4-2 Tampa heading into the second intermission.
The Knights were able to respond in the third by way of Marchessault’s second goal of the night and Paul Cotter’s fifth of the season, both coming before the midway point of the period. However, it was all for naught as a Nicholas Paul goal with 1:13 left gave the Lightning a 5-4 lead that would go final shortly after.
The Knights continue their Southern road trip in Florida this weekend, taking on the Panthers in a Stanley Cup Final rematch in Sunrise. Puck drop is at noon PST on Saturday.