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Lightning recalls Brett Connolly from AHL Syracuse



The Lightning on Thursday recalled right wing Brett Connolly from AHL Syracuse.

Tampa Bay did not practice on Thursday and no players missed Wednesday's practice, so there were no additional injuries that prompted the call-up. Right wing Richard Panik has been struggling, though, with zero goals and five assists and at minus-9. He has had just four shots on goal in his past five games. ALl the shots came Oct. 26 against Buffalo.

But general manager Steve Yzerman said the move is not exclusively tied to Panik, about whom he said, "We're pleased with his effort. He's doing a lot of good things on the ice."

"We're trying to find the right fits, the right line combinations," Yzerman said.

Yzerman added there are no immediate plans to send anyone down to Syracuse and no trades are imminent.,

Coach Jon Cooper certainly did not like the Lightning's past two games, a 4-3 shootout win over the Panthers on Sunday in which Tampa Bay scored two goals in the game's first five minutes but only one thereafter, and Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Devils in which the team was sluggish and outshot 22-17.

Connolly, 21, hasn't been tearing it up at Syracuse, either, with just one assist in six games. He did, however, impress during training camp with four goals, which tied Steven Stamkos for the team lead, and Yzerman said he has played well for the Crunch despite the lack of production.

"We're looking at our forward group not so much to shake things up, we just felt like Brett can help us out," Yzerman said. "He gives us a little bit more depth, a little bit more speed, a little bit more size as well."

Here is the announcement from the team:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Brett Connolly from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Connolly, 21, has skated in six games with the Crunch this season, collecting one assist. He ranked tied for first on the Lightning during the preseason with four goals in five games. The Campbell River, British Columbia native also ranked tied for second for points with four and his plus-4 rating ranked tied for fourth on the Lightning during the preseason.

During the 2012-13 season, Connolly appeared in five games with the Bolts, scoring one goal.  The 6-foot-2, 193-pound forward has skated in 73 career NHL games with the Lightning, recording five goals and 16 points with 30 penalty minutes. Two of Connolly’s five career goals have been game-winners. He scored his first career NHL goal on November 1, 2011 at Carolina and also made his NHL debut against the Hurricanes on October 7, 2011.

Connolly was originally drafted by the Lightning in the first round, sixth overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

[Last modified: Thursday, October 31, 2013 6:14pm]


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