Lightning hopes tonight is a turning point
After losing three straight games, including Sunday's in embarassing fashion, the Lightning believes tonight's playoff rematch with the Islanders must be a turning point.
"We've got to get back to square one," goalie Ben Bishop said. "Hit the reset button."
Bishop said Tampa Bay needs to keep it simple, coach Jon Cooper using just one word: "Work." That holds true especially on the defensive end, having given up six goals in Sunday's loss to the Rangers, including a dozen odd-man rushes.
"We've been thinking about one net, but not the other one," Cooper said. "That was something that happened with us three years ago, but has not been our mentality the last two years. For some reason, we forgot about our own net. That's the net we've got to worry about."
The Lightning bolstered it's blueline by calling up defenseman Slater Koekkoek from AHL Syracuse. Koekkoek, who made the opening night roster, had been with the Crunch to get playing time. He'll be in the lineup tonight, with Nikita Nesterov likely a healthy scratch.
"His skating ability, his ability to defend - which is something we're not doing right now," Cooper said. "Hopefully he can add a spark for us."
Koekkoek said he was disappointed to get sent down originally, but knew it was to get playing time, and felt he's performed well in Syracuse. Now he'll make his season debut.
"It's encouraging," Koekkoek said. "I've worked hard for it, and thankful for the opportunity."
More from morning skate: Bishop is happy to get the start after giving up six goals Sunday, thought it was hard to blame him the way the team played defensively in front of him. "You want to get back at it," Bishop said. "You don't want to sit on that for too long." Bishop said he has what'll likely be a long dentist appointment set up for Wednesday's offday in Tampa, having gotten his two front permanently fake crowns knocked out a week ago in Toronto. "Hopefully it's not too abrasive," Bishop quipped. With a healthy group of 13 forwards, it makes for some tough lineup decisions for Cooper on who sits. "Terrible," he said. It was J.T. Brown Sunday and likely Cedric Paquette tonight. "It's not going to be the same guy sitting up front all the time," Cooper said. "Guys are going to have to earn their playing time." The lines got shuffled a bit, with Brayden Point playing with Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn. Jonathan Drouin is on the third line with Ryan Callahan and Valtteri Filppula. Steven Stamkos is centering Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat... Though players said the Barclays Center ice seemed fine at the morning skate, the lights dimmed near the end.