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Steven Stamkos
AP
Hockey Daily Dose

What is wrong with the Lightning?

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: December 10, 2019, 1:03 am ET

The three stars of the week were announced Monday as they always are and Washington defenseman John Carlson was named the first star of the week.

Carlson scored three times, including two games winners, and added a trio of assists in three Capitals wins. Carlson is having an amazing year with 11 goals and 43 points in only 31 games.

Pittsburgh netminder Tristan Jarry was a perfect 2-0-0 this week to claim the second star as both wins were shutouts. He stopped all 61 shots and has not allowed a goal in 144:51.

The third star of the week went to Buffalo center Jack Eichel. He had two goals and five assists in four games as he extended his points streak to 13 games. Eichel has 18 goals and 42 points this year in what is the best start to a season that he has had.

Travis Konecny is out indefinitely with a concussion suffered on Saturday. That will hurt the Flyers as Konecny has been their leading scorer.

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NEW YORK ISLANDERS 5 TAMPA BAY 1

What is the matter with the Tampa Bay Lightning? With basically the same lineup as last season, the Lightning are 14-11-3 this season and are in sixth place in the Atlantic Division and out of a playoff spot. Last year, the Lightning ran away with the President’s Trophy with a 62-16-4 mark for 128 points. They lost only six more games last season in 82 contests than this season, having played only 28 times.

The losing continued on Monday as the Lightning fell 5-1 to the New York Islanders in Tampa Bay.

Brock Nelson led the way for New York with a pair of third period goals to put the game out of reach as the Islanders trailed only 2-1 heading into the third.

After a scoreless first period, Ross Johnston, not exactly known for his scoring, but rather his brawn, potted his second of the season. Josh Bailey made it 2-0 with a shorthanded effort but Steven Stamkos cut the lead in half with his 10th of the season.

It was all New York in the third, at least on the scoresheet, as they scored three times including Nelson’s two and Anders Lee power play goal. The Lightning outshot the Islanders 11-8 in the third and 32-24 in the contest.

Semyon Varlamov was great in making 31 saves. He is 10-3-2 with 2.26 GAA and a .926 save percentage.

Curtis McElhinney was in the cage for Tampa Bay and gave up all five goals on only 24 shots. He is 3-3-2 this season.

COLUMBUS 5 WASHINGTON 2

Joonas Korpisalo was brilliant in goal for the Blue Jackets Monday as he made 37 saves to defeat the front-running Washington Capitals 5-2.

It was Korpisalo’s 12th win of the season and it broke a four-game losing streak by the Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets came out flying and took a 1-0 lead on Cam Atkinson’s first of two goals on the night. Columbus dominated in the first period, outshooting Washington 20-6.

While the Capitals would outshoot the Blue Jackets 33-18 over the final two periods, they could not even things up. Ryan Murray’s second of the season made it 2-0 after two periods but Alex Ovechkin scored 40 seconds into the third to make it a 2-1 game.

But Riley Nash with his second of the season, and Oliver Bjorkstrand’s seventh, made it 4-1 with 9:23 to go in the third.

Nicklas Backstrom, who was playing in his first game since sitting out eight straight with an upper-body injury, scored his fifth of the season to give him a two-point night. Atkinson closed things out with an empty netter.

Braden Holtby gave up four goals on 37 shots. He is 15-3-4 and saw his four-game winning streak come to an end.

The Capitals are road warriors with a 14-2-1 mark but are only 8-3-4 at home.

Lars Eller led both teams with seven shots on net.

Ovechkin had six as well as nine hits.  

OTTAWA 5 BOSTON 2

It was not the night for favorites as the Ottawa Senators upended the Boston Bruins to the tune of 5-2. Anthony Duclair led the way with a pair of goals to give him 15 this season, as well as his seventh assist.

Artem Anisimov, Chris Tierney and Jean-Gabriel Pageau with his 16th of the season (and a shorthanded goal to boot), also scored for Ottawa who had their last two goals into the empty net.

Patrice Bergeron, who returned from a lower-body injury after missing seven games, scored his ninth of the season while Jake DeBrusk scored on the power play, his seventh of the season.

Anders Nilsson was superb in the Ottawa net as he made 38 saves for his eighth win of the season. He broke his four-game losing streak that dated back to November 27.       

Tuukka Rask gave up three goals on 26 shots to take the loss. Rask is 13-3-3 this season but has given up seven goals on 57 shots in his last two games as he is 0-1-1 of late.

Nikita Zaitsev had seven blocked shots while Mark Borowiecki had six as Ottawa had 29 blocked shots to only six by the Bruins.

Vladislav Namestnikov and Dylan DeMelo each had two assists for Ottawa while Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak drew the assists on both Boston goals.

DeBrusk was a minus-four on the night.        

CALGARY 5 COLORADO 4 (Overtime)

Sean Monahan scored at the 2:09 mark of overtime to give Calgary a 5-4 win over Colorado. The win was the Flames fifth in a row under interim head coach Geoff Ward as it appears that the Flames have finally righted the ship.

Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist while Derek Ryan, Michael Frolik and Andrew Mangiapane also scored for Calgary.

Defenseman Ryan Graves, Nathan MacKinnon and Joonas Donskoi each had a goal and an assist for Colorado who scored twice in the third to tie the game at 4 and send it into extra time.

Valeri Nichushkin also scored for Colorado.

David Rittich made 28 saves to pick up his 14th win of the season and fifth in a row.

Pavel Francouz got the start for Colorado in place of the injured Philipp Grubauer and gave up five goals on 33 shots. He saw his record dip to 7-2-1.

Elias Lindholm, Dillon Dube and Mark Giordano each had two assists for Calgary.

Giordano blocked eight shots in front of Rittich.

Nathan MacKinnon had eight shots on goal.

NIGHTLY LEADERS

Goals

Brock Nelson – 2

Cam Atkinson – 2

Anthony Duclair - 2

Assists

David Pastrnak – 2

Brad Marchand – 2

Chris Tierney – 2

Vladislav Namestnikov – 2

Dylan DeMelo – 2

Mark Giordano – 2

Dillon Dube – 2

Elias Lindholm - 2

Shots on Goal

Lars Eller – 7

Alex Ovechkin – 6

Anthony Duclair - 6

Oliver Bjorkstrand – 6

Patrice Bergeron - 6

Hits

Alex Ovechkin – 9

Penalty Minutes

Scott Mayfield – 4

Nic Dowd – 4

Dylan DeMelo - 4

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 16th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.