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Conacher hopes first goal is start of something



This was a vintage Cory Conacher goal.

On Friday night, Conacher collected a cross-zone feed from Jonathan Drouin on the power play. Conacher, in the slot, patiently waited, noticing a Cancouver defenseman putting his knee down to block a shot.

Then Conacher fired a wrist shot, beating goalie Ryan Miller for a third-period tying goal in a 4-2 loss to the Canucks. It was Conacher's first NHL goal since Oct. 11, 2014.

"It's definitely nice to get the first one out of the way," Conacher said. "It's been over a year, a year and a half or so. It would have been nicer if we got the win out of it."

Getting Conacher going could be a big boost for the Lightning, which is expected to be without wings Nikita Kucherov (lower body) and Ondrej Palat (undisclosed) tonight against the Oilers. Conacher is getting more of a chance in this callup, with power play time and a spot on the top line with C Tyler Johnson. Conacher, who once scored 39 goals for the Lightning's AHL affiliate Norfolk before getting traded to Ottawa, has it in him.

"We need guys to step up for sure," Conacher said. "I think overall our line played pretty solid. I'm sure at some point there might be more callups at the pace they're going right now. Hope guys start coming back."

More notes: The Lightning didn't hold a skate this morning in Edmonton, so we won't know lineup until tonight. But Kucherov and Palat are expected to be out. Ryan Callahan, who has participated in the last two team skates, appears to be getting closer. Expecting Ben Bishop in net. Nikita Nesterov scratched the last two games, could slot in...Defenseman Victor Hedman recorded his 253rd career NHL point Friday night, tying him with Dan Boyle for most all-time by a Lightning defenseman...As much as the Lightning lamented the unlucky break on Vancouver's winning goal in the third period Friday - when a dump-in on the power play took a wild carom - the game was really lost in the second period. Tampa Bay made two critical mistakes in its defensive zone, a Slater Koekkoek turnover, and a Vladislav Namestnikov missed coverage, that led to two Vancouver goals, erasing a one-goal Lightning lead. "The second period we stopped doing the right things, took the easy way out a little bit and they hurt us," defenseman Anton Stralman said. D Andrej Sustr's ice time jumped 10 minutes from Wednesday in Calgary (12:51) to 22:43 Friday in Vancouver..



[Last modified: Saturday, December 17, 2016 3:01pm]


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