After Tampa Bay (30-33-12) fell 7-1 at Buffalo on Saturday, Tocchet decided to work his players hard in Columbus the next day. The session featured plenty of skating after Tocchet made the players watch the first two periods against the Sabres, who scored six times through 40 minutes.
"It's an embarrassing loss," Tocchet said. "We're in high critical games. You've got to back check like it's the last shift of the season. Our defense has to box out like it's the last game of the season. It's embarrassing some guys packed it in."
Tocchet is in his first full season with the Lightning and there have been rumors of a rift between him and general manager Brian Lawton. Tampa Bay appears all but certain to miss the postseason for the third straight season.
Martin St. Louis had a three-game point streak end Saturday. Steve Downie scored the lone goal for Tampa Bay after Buffalo recorded the first six.
"We didn't come ready to play," St. Louis said. "From the get-go, you could tell we were just trying to feel our way instead of initiating and dictating. Next thing you know it's 3-0 and they're a tough team to come back against."
Tampa Bay has lost six of eight entering its final game against a Western Conference opponent.
Columbus (31-32-13), already eliminated from contention, has won two of three after beating Chicago for the second time in four days, 4-2 on the road Sunday. Steve Mason made 33 saves to win consecutive starts for the first time since taking three straight from Feb. 4-10.
Mason has struggled since winning the Calder Trophy as the top rookie last season, when he went 33-20-7 with a 2.29 goals-against average. He improved to 19-23-8 with a 3.15 GAA with Sunday's effort.
"You've got to like the way Steve played tonight," interim coach Claude Noel said. "He looked fabulous -- confident and poised. He wasn't rattled in the least and that goes through the whole team. When he steps up like that, you just want to help him."