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Jeannot Shines in 5-3 Loss to the Sabers.

By Jake Ricker

The Lightning took on the Buffalo Sabers last night as they looked to snap their three-game losing streak. Michael Eyssimont would also make his Lightning debut while Bellemare would be the healthy scratch. Here are a few things we noticed from the loss.

Tanner Jeannot

The Lightning did not have a good game last night. However, Tanner Jeannot has quickly found his role in Tampa. Jeannot played a super physical game throwing multiple hits that separated Buffalo players from the puck. He also tallied another assist in this game showing his offense can still be where it was a year ago.

The main reason Jeannot was the talk of Tampa Bay was not because of his physical play or offensive success but his fighting skills. A little halfway past the second period, Jeannot dropped the gloves with Riley Stillman. After a few big punches, Jeannot threw a nasty uppercut knocking down Stillman. It was a massive win for Jeannot, and it showed exactly what he was brought in to do. There is no question this fight also gave him a ton of respect among his new teammates and made Jeannot a little more comfortable here in Tampa.

First Line Woes

Jon Cooper made a big statement in the third period when he benched Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Brayden Point. The first line had a number of issues defensively that proved to be costly for the team. But benching three of the team's biggest stars isn't just about their play. This was clearly a message from Cooper to the rest of the team that they needed to step up in a big way. The Lightning did then score twice in the final 20 minutes, so it would seem the team received the message.

After the game, Pat Marron had this to say about the benching of Point, Stamkos, and Kucherov. "that's why this locker room has been so good over the last few years is that we all hold each other accountable." and later, adding "I think they know, and they'll nip it in the bud next game."

Chris Krenn asked Cooper about the benching, and here is his response. "We have a set of standards here that everybody adheres to, and it's not pick and choose. It's everybody. It's how it was for today. Like I said, those guys are an extremely important part of our team, but for 20 minutes tonight, I thought the other guys could get it done, and you know what? They almost did."


This has been a topic in each of our game recaps for the last few games, and tonight things were not any better. The Lightning were without Erik Cernak tonight, who has proved to be a vital piece of the defense. But as JBB mentioned, after the trade deadline, it's not just the defensemen who are playing defense.

As mentioned earlier, the first line was benched due to their defensive play, especially after they surrendered a shorthanded goal. The bottom line is that Lightning once again gave up multiple grade-A chances and breakaways, and it needs to get better.

Final Thoughts

Both Tanner Jeannot and Michael Eyssimont made big impacts physically, and Jeannot was the best player to come out of this game. The defense continues to struggle, and the Lightning are paying for it. This is a bad slump, but it's not something the Lightning haven't faced before. This is a very talented group, and as long as they can figure it out before the start of the playoffs, they should be primed to make another run at Lord Stanley.

Three Stars

Media’s three stars

1. Tage Thompson (1G, 1A)

2. Tyson Jost (1G)

3. Eric Comrie (33SV, 3GA)

Our three stars

1. Tage Thompson (1G, 1A)

2. Tyson Jost (1G)

3. Tanner Jeannot (3 HITS 1 Fight)

The Lightning's next game will be against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, March 5th, at 3:00 PM ET.

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