The manner in which they got there was completely different but for the second straight game, the Coyotes were challenged with protecting a one-goal lead with about half a period to go – give or take a few minutes.

Before a dizzying collapse Saturday in Washington that saw the Coyotes waste a two-goal lead, they were saddled with a 2-1 edge with 10:15 to go and couldn’t pull out the win.

Perhaps unexpectedly, because they fell behind twice, the Coyotes found themselves with another slim lead with 12:12 remaining in Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

And they still couldn’t hold on.

That remains a concern, but it gets glossed over somewhat and filed in the work-in-progress pile following a 4-3 shootout win in Game 2 of this four-game trip.

“That’s the biggest thing about our season right now,” coach Dave Tippett said. “We need points every night.”

Goalie Mike Smith was strong, again, posting 28 saves in regulation and stopping all three Lightning shooters in the shootout. Winger Radim Vrbata was the lone scorer for the Coyotes.

“When things get going the right way, those are things that fall into place,” Tippett said. “We just haven’t had enough of those this year. Hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come.”

After the Coyotes scored a pair of goals in 5:35 in the third to take a 3-2 lead, they seemed on the brink of progress but the Lightning tied it with 38 seconds remaining with the extra attacker on the ice when winger Ondrej Palat redirected a puck past Smith.

“I had to move into the shot because it was a deflection in front, and I got kind of out of position for the rebound,” Smith said. “It’s just one of those plays we gotta find ways to put games away.”

The Lightning went up 1-0 when center Tyler Johnson got around defenseman Keith Yandle for a shorthanded goal at 11:26 of the first period.

The Coyotes evened it up just 1:01 in the second when winger Brandon McMillan collected a rebound and sent it under goalie Ben Bishop’s pad for his second goal in as many games.