The Tampa Bay Lightning, still in search of their 1st ever win on home ice, faced the Columbus Blue Jackets in front of a packed house. After tough losses to San Jose and Calgary to start their 6 game home stand, the Lightning were in tough but looking for the upset against the team GM Clark once built and no doubt there where there was money on the board for this one. Unfortunately, Tampa got into a big deficit early on and could not mount the comeback losing 5-3 and extending their losing streak to 3 games.
The Jackets came out on fire scoring 3 times in the first 12 minutes on Tim Cheveldae and ended the 1st period with a 21-4 shot advantage over Tampa. The Jackets took a 4-0 lead early on in the 2nd period and looked for though rout, however, Tampa did make a game out of it and cut the lead to 4-3 early in the 3rd period. With Tampa pressing, Peter Sidorkiewicz, who was traded just a few days ago by the Lightning, was able to shut the door until another former Lightning, Michael Garleneau sealed the victory for the Blue Jackets.
“Thank God we only play them twice this season,” spoke Clark on his former team. “I though our guys really pushed them for the last 30 minutes but that’s how it goes sometimes. It’s hard to win when you get down in a big hole early on.”
Tampa will look once again to give their fans a win at home with Quebec next on the calendar. Coach Jacque Martin continues to tinker with the lineup with the injuries that have piled up early on. Jason Ruff gets the call up for his first career NFHL game. While Bob Boughner will play his 1st game since the 1991 season. Darrell May gets the start in net.