Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Brian Boyle sidelined for a third consecutive game

ST. LOUIS — Lightning C Brian Boyle hardly ever misses games. So when he does, it's telling, as well as frustrating for the veteran.

Boyle snapped a streak of 263 consecutive games played in Game 1 of last season's Eastern Conference final against the Rangers. Now Boyle has been scratched three consecutive games, including Tuesday's against the Blues, with an undisclosed injury he said is very much related to that one from the playoffs.

"It just flared up again," Boyle said. "I thought it was under control. That's why it's pretty disappointing. Really disappointing. But these things happen."

Boyle was encouraged he was able to practice Monday, and he participated in Tuesday's morning skate, saying he was feeling better. Boyle said the Lightning has tried multiple treatments and could get the issues examined further when it returns home today. "It's really frustrating," Boyle said.

C Cedric Paquette, who didn't skate Monday or Tuesday, was also scratched due to an issue coach Jon Cooper said is related to the left foot/ankle injury he suffered blocking a shot during the preseason against Dallas. With both out, the Lightning went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen for the second consecutive game.

Vasy update: G Andrei Vasilevskiy did an on-ice workout after the morning skate and appeared close to beginning a short conditioning assignment with AHL Syracuse, which plays tonight in Toronto and Friday at home. "He's a monster, that kid," Cooper said. "It looks like he hasn't missed a beat."

G Kevin Poulin, who cleared waivers Sunday, reported to Crunch practice Tuesday. G Allen York was reassigned to ECHL Greenville.

Homecoming: G Ben Bishop, who grew up outside St. Louis, noted that Tuesday's start was "little bit bigger than most games." But Bishop — who was drafted by the Blues in 2005 and made his debut with St. Louis before getting traded to Ottawa (in 2012) and Tampa Bay (in 2013) — said he holds "no grudges" that he wasn't able to stay in his hometown.

"It could have been a blessing in disguise to get out of there and not have the pressure to make it in front of family and friends," Bishop said. "It's kind of nice to get away and not have that pressure. I'm in a great spot now. They've had successful seasons, and I've personally had successful seasons. I think both teams were winners."

High praise: Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said he always has been a big fan of Lightning D Anton Stralman, whom he coached in Columbus 2009-10. "I knew there was something special there," Hitchcock said. "He came in with this reputation as a defending defenseman, and when we'd do stuff after practice, I saw a skill set and ability to read. I kept telling people, 'There's something here offensively that's not being tapped into.' Stralman noted that 2009-10 was his best statistical season (six goals, 28 assists) until last season with Tampa Bay (nine, 30). "(Hitchcock) was a reason why," Stralman said.

Nuts and bolts: LW Alex Killorn played his 200th game.

Contact Joe Smith at [email protected]. Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

Comments
Lightning has goalie Peter Budaj’s back after near-collapse

Lightning has goalie Peter Budaj’s back after near-collapse

LAS VEGAS — After the Avalanche made a seemingly insurmountable Lightning lead shaky Saturday night, defenseman Victor Hedman was the first to skate toward backup goalie Peter Budaj and give an encouraging pat on the pads with his stick.Budaj’s stat ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Avalanche

Could tell just how much Ryan Callahan meant in the Lightning dressing room by hearing teammates talk about his latest injury. Steven Stamkos said he was "sick to my stomach." Brayden Point called him a "heart and soul player." Teammates all saw how ...
Published: 12/16/17
Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

The good news for the Lightning is that GM Steve Yzerman is hopeful RW Ryan Callahan will be ready to go in 3-4 weeks when his upper body injury is re-evaluated. The hard part, however, is finding someone to replace the veteran wing. "I don’t know if...
Published: 12/16/17
Lightning trying to replace ‘heart and soul’ Ryan Callahan

Lightning trying to replace ‘heart and soul’ Ryan Callahan

With veteran wing Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks with an upper body injury, the natural question is who will fill his shoes?"I don't know if anyone can," coach Jon Cooper said.That's not to say the Lightning (26-6-2) can't win without Callahan....
Published: 12/16/17
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch has won 10 straight after Friday’s victory over Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental league, the ...
Published: 12/16/17
Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

When Lightning wing Ryan Callahan took a nasty spill into the boards Thursday night, it didn't look good.Turns out, it wasn't. Callahan will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper body injury, evaluated after three to four weeks, per GM Steve Yzerma...
Published: 12/15/17
When you think you’ve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

When you think you’ve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Center Brayden Point is the Lightning’s calmest player, both on the ice and off, according to Victor Hedman.Point’s soft-spoken nature belies his baby face and 5-foot-10 frame. "I’ve never seen him angry before," Hedman said.That ma...
Published: 12/15/17
Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

The Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday night still featured the usual post-game music in the dressing room.But there was more of a somber tone with veteran right wing Ryan Callahan's right arm in a sling. Callahan, who got hurt on a na...
Published: 12/15/17
Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. — As much as the Lightning has been rolling, it remembered how it lost twice last season to the Coyotes.That included blowing a one-goal third-period lead at home down the stretch, with Tampa Bay missing the playoffs by a point."You l...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the dynamic Lightning defenseman. They both were top 10 picks in 2016, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in th...
Published: 12/14/17