Friday, June 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Time at home means time to practice for Lightning

TAMPA – Saturday's shootout victory against the Flyers came in the Lightning's 29th home game this season, the fewest number of home games for any team in league.

The Lightning is about to change its standing on that list.

Saturday was the start of eight consecutive games at Amalie Arena. What's more, the longest home stand of the season comes with plenty of practice days. Eight are scheduled, beginning with Monday's workout at the arena.

"The guys have been looking forward to it," captain Steven Stamkos said, "getting more practices, getting more touches in practice, fine-tuning the game down the stretch to getting into the playoffs. It's a welcome stretch for us. We need to make some improvements, for sure, but we love playing in front of our fans and want to take advantage of that schedule."

Practice time has been scarce during recent weeks with the Lightning playing so many road games. The travel schedule has cut into practice time between games. Because of that, coach Jon Cooper has cancelled a number of practices with the idea of keeping his players rested for what he hopes is an extended postseason run.

Sudden impact

C J.T. Miller scored his first goal since joining the team at the Feb. 26 trade deadline during the Lightning's third-period comeback Saturday.

With the Lightning trailing 5-3, Miller skated to the net and was in perfect position to bang home a rebound off a shot by C Brayden Point. The goal started a run of three straight goals that gave the Lightning a short-lived 6-5 lead.

"He was driving hard and put it in," D Victor Hedman said. "That's what we knew what he was going to bring to the team. … It's always tough to play against him. He's very hard on the puck and goes to the net. It's great to have him on our side and doing that for us. (He's) a big-time player, and we're looking to see what he can do for us down the stretch before the playoff starts."

It was the 14th goal this season for Miller, who came over from the Rangers with D Ryan McDonagh. With three points in his past two games with the Lightning, Miller has 43 this season.

Turning 50

Rookie C Yanni Gourde has 50 points this season, good for fourth on the team.

When asked after Saturday's game what he would had done if someone had told him before the season that he would get 50, Gourde said, "I would probably laugh. I didn't come into this year thinking I'm going to make 50. I just go out there and try to do my job and help this team win. I try to bring energy every game. I just got to focus on that. If I do, most of the time points are going to come and chances are going to come."

Gourde's 22 goals are also fourth on the team.

Gourde is the fourth rookie in team history to record 50 points in a season. He joins Brad Richards (62 in 2000-01), Ondrej Palat (59 in '13-'14) and Tyler Johnson (50 in '13-'14).

Contact Roger Mooney at [email protected] Follow @rogermooney50.

Up next

vs. Panthers, 7:30 Tuesday, Amalie Arena

TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 970-AM

Comments
Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

The Lightning has re-signed one of its restricted free agents in backup goalie Louis Domingue, who will be back with Tampa Bay on a two-year deal worth $2.3 million.Domingue, 26, was acquired from Arizona in November after he had posted a 4.33 goals-...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning names ex-player Jeff Halpern as new assistant coach

Lightning names ex-player Jeff Halpern as new assistant coach

The Lightning has filled one of the openings on Jon Cooper's coaching staff, announcing Friday  that former Tampa Bay forward Jeff Halpern has been hired as an assistant coach.Halpern, 42, has spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Steve Yzerman: Lightning won’t re-sign forward Chris Kunitz

Steve Yzerman: Lightning won’t re-sign forward Chris Kunitz

As expected, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he does not intend to re-sign veteran forward Chris Kunitz, who will seek his fifth Stanley Cup with a different team next season.Kunitz, 38, brought much-needed playoff experience in his lone...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Live blog: 2018 NHL entry draft

Live blog: 2018 NHL entry draft

The Lightning isn't scheduled to pick until the second round, but there's no telling how active they might be with trades, so you'll want to follow our live coverage throughout the NHL draft Friday (Round 1) and Saturday (Rounds 2-7) in Dallas.(funct...
Updated: 2 hours ago
2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

NHL schedules all balance out at the end, but the Lightning will open 2018-19 with five straight home games and end the season with its last four on the road.The Lightning released its schedule Thursday evening for the upcoming season, with all sorts...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Without a first-rounder, Lightning still could have busy draft weekend

Without a first-rounder, Lightning still could have busy draft weekend

The Lightning doesn't have a first-round pick in this weekend's draft, but that's not to say the weekend couldn't be busy for general manager Steve Yzerman and his front office.The Lightning sent its top draft pick to the Rangers in February as part ...
Published: 06/21/18
Islanders hire Barry Trotz as coach fresh off winning Stanley Cup

Islanders hire Barry Trotz as coach fresh off winning Stanley Cup

DALLAS — The New York Islanders have hired Barry Trotz as their new head coach. President of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello announced the move Thursday at the NHL draft, two weeks after Trotz won the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals and thr...
Published: 06/21/18
Lightning’s Victor Hedman salutes survivors in Norris Trophy acceptance speech

Lightning’s Victor Hedman salutes survivors in Norris Trophy acceptance speech

The victims and survivors of three tragedies — the mass shootings in Las Vegas and at Parkland Stoneman Douglas High School, and the bus accident that killed 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team — were a big part of Wedne...
Published: 06/21/18
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final last season, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman ...
Published: 06/20/18
Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

The Tampa Bay Lightning will announce their full 2018-19 schedule on Thursday, but the league announced each home opener Wednesday, with Tampa Bay playing host to the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Oct. 6.The Lightning will know their ...
Published: 06/20/18