SUNRISE — Lightning F J.T. Brown did not go home after Saturday's loss to the Ducks. Instead, he met members of the Tampa Police Department and spent 2½ hours riding around the city in a squad car. Brown witnessed three stops.
"I think it was just cool to see it from the perspective of real life," Brown said Monday morning.
The invitation for the ride along came after Brown and teammates Gabriel Dumont and Vladislav Namestnikov attended TPD's Citizens Police Academy this month. That invitation was extended by TBP's interim police chief Brian Dugan after he met with Brown to discuss Brown's early-season protests during the national anthem.
Brown raised his right fist while standing at attention on the bench in an effort to create awareness of police brutality and racial injustice, a practice that Brown has since stopped.
Brown said his peek into the daily life of a police officer on patrol was enlightening.
"It was definitely a cool, new experience for me to be able to see what they go through and how they handle each situation," he said. "It was good conversation, just to be able to chat with them, relate to them and get to know the guys."
He said he will do it again, on a night before an off day so Brown can ride the entire shift. Because the Lightning practiced Sunday, Brown couldn't stay longer. He was home before the bars close, which can be a busy time for officers on patrol.
"You got to find time to make things work if it's something you believe in and you want to push forward," Brown said. "It's easy to just say, 'Oh, we're busy. We have a tough schedule.' But there is time. There is time to make these initiatives work, so for me, it was nice to be able to go out there."
The Lightning's power play ranked second in the league at 28.6 percent heading into Monday. But it had come up empty four times in Saturday's loss to the Ducks.
"Our power play didn't shoot nearly enough, coach Jon Cooper said. "When we're shooting we're a much better power play. We're a threat. When you got Kooch, Stammer and Hedman all shooting the puck, it's three different angles to cover. It fuels that power play."
D Victor Hedman took two shots; one was blocked. C Steven Stamkos took two, missing the net on one. RW Nikita Kucherov shot twice, missing the net once while the other was blocked. The Lightning took 14 shots with the man advantage. Eight were on goal, three were blocked and three missed the net.
C Cedric Paquette missed his sixth game Monday with an upper body injury. Cooper said Paquette is improving but was hesitant to place a timetable for his return. The Lightning heads west on its next road trip for three games, beginning Nov. 8 at San Jose.