Monday, January 22, 2018

The good news: Stammer time

Steven Stamkos said he expected to have some trouble sleeping Wednesday night.

"I'm excited, a little anxious, a little nervous all in one," he said.

That is because the Lightning's star center, after missing 45 games with a broken right tibia, has been cleared to play and will be in the lineup tonight against the Sabres at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

"There's going to be some anxiousness and some nerves for sure," Stamkos said. "I'm not going to come in here and expect to be where I was before the injury. That's not realistic."

Stamkos, who was injured Nov. 11 at Boston when he slid into a goalpost and who had a titanium rod inserted into the bone to facilitate healing, said all the tests show the right leg is as stable and strong as the left.

That's not to say he won't wonder how it will react.

"It's going to be by getting hit, taking a hit, giving a hit. Those are the things that will be going through my mind for sure," Stamkos said. "But after the first couple of shifts I think it will be fine."

The Lightning, loser of seven of its past 10 games and 9-10-1 since Jan. 5, can certainly use Stamkos, a former 60-goal scorer who had 14 goals in 17 games before he was injured.

In those 17 games, Tampa Bay averaged 3.1 goals. In the 45 he missed, it averaged 2.6.

"We feel we made the best acquisition of this trade deadline," defenseman Victor Hedman said. "Getting Stammer back in the lineup is going to help us tremendously."

And with Lightning captain Marty St. Louis traded to the Rangers, the locker room will benefit from another strong, confident voice.

Stamkos, an alternate captain, said Wednesday afternoon no one had approached him about being captain, and that "it doesn't really matter right now."

Comments
Lightning angered by slash that has Ondrej Palat out 6-8 weeks

Lightning angered by slash that has Ondrej Palat out 6-8 weeks

CHICAGO — The Lightning got more bad news Monday with wing Ondrej Palat out 6-8 weeks with a lower-body injury. It’s a big blow to a struggling Tampa Bay team, which is now without its top defense­man (Victor Hedman) and now arguably its best defensi...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Blackhawks

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Blackhawks

CHICAGO — Turns out, Andrei Vasilevskiy is all right.And, believe it or not, so is the Lightning’s penalty kill, which was the unlikely hero in Monday’s streak-snapping 2-0 win over the Blackhawks at the United Center.Vasilevskiy, 23, played like the...
Updated: 14 minutes ago

The Latest: Hundreds pack church, pray for girl who was shot

About 300 people packed a church in a small North Texas community to pray for a girl wounded in a shooting at the town's high school
Updated: 26 minutes ago

AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EST

AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EST
Updated: 27 minutes ago

AP Top News at 11:03 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 11:03 p.m. EST
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Student: Boy arrested in school shooting has violent past

Student: Boy arrested in school shooting has violent past

A fellow student says the suspect in a shooting at a Texas high school has been violent in the past
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he 'used to be' comedian

Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he 'used to be' comedian

Bill Cosby performs in public for 1st time since sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015, telling stories, playing with jazz band, joking he 'used to be a comedian,' but he won't discuss his looming retrial
Updated: 1 hour ago
Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he 'used to be' comedian

Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he 'used to be' comedian

Bill Cosby performs in public for 1st time since sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015, telling stories, playing with jazz band, joking he 'used to be a comedian,' but he won't discuss his looming retrial
Updated: 1 hour ago

Bucks fire Kidd in midst of slump

MILWAUKEE — The Bucks fired coach Jason Kidd on Monday amid a midseason slide that has left the playoff hopeful in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. It was a surprising end to Kidd’s three-plus season tenure in Milwaukee, when the Bucks made th...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Mrazek strong in goal again as Red Wings blank Devils

NEWARK, N.J. — Petr Mrazek had 37 saves in posting his second straight shutout and third of the season as the Red Wings beat the slumping Devils 3-0 on Monday night. Tyler Bertuzzi, David Booth and Dylan Larkin scored for the Red Wings, who snapped a...
Updated: 1 hour ago