Monday, January 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Bruised foot hobbles Lecavalier

TAMPA — Captain Vinny Lecavalier conceded that his bruised left foot has been hindering him the past month, something that was obvious on the stat sheet.

In eight games before the center took a slap shot from teammate Sami Salo flush off the foot Feb. 2 against the Rangers, the center had four goals and 11 points. In 14 games since, he has two goals and nine points.

"It was tough for him," coach Guy Boucher said Thursday. "It affects his push-off, his timing. He was just trying to survive out there."

Boucher said he considered sitting Lecavalier for a few games to let him heal. But Lecavalier, 32, said that discussion did not go far.

"You want to be part of it," he said. "You want to keep pushing through as a player. Ask any guy in this room. If the same thing happened, they would do the same thing. They'd want to keep playing and want to keep going."

There are signs Lecavalier is mending. He has three assists over his previous three games, and his two-assist effort Tuesday against the Devils was his best all-around game since he was hurt.

Against the Jets on Thursday, he had 22:01 of ice time, four shots on goal and won 13 of 18 faceoffs.

"When Vinny is at his best, it makes a difference," Boucher said.

"It's getting stronger," Lecavalier said. "It's getting better every day, for sure."

MALONE PLAYS: LW Ryan Malone played after missing 13 games with a lower-body injury.

"It feels good," he said before the game. "We just took our time and went about the rehab properly. So it feels good, and I'm excited to be back."

Malone, 33, was hurt prior to the Feb. 10 game at the Ran­gers when during pregame soccer warmups he aggravated an existing condition. It took longer than expected to return, Malone said, because the team wanted him completely healed.

Since coming to Tampa Bay in 2008-09, Malone has not played more than 70 games in a season.

"You want to do everything you can to help the team," he said. "But you want to do everything you can to make sure you don't get injured again."

Malone, with four goals and six points in 11 games, showed no ill effects with 19:26 of ice time Thursday and winning a race for the puck to get a secondary assist on Steven Stamkos' goal.

INJURY REPORT: Mathieu Garon's MRI exam on the lower-body injury that knocked him out of Monday's game with the Penguins was clear, the goalie said. He is on injured reserve retroactive to Monday. The first game for which he potentially is available is Tuesday at Florida.

BONDING: LW Cory Conacher had nothing bad to say about the head shot he took Tuesday from New Jersey's Cam Janssen. In fact, the rookie said of the hit that caused no damage: "It was my fault for not guarding myself better and expecting the hit."

Janssen got two minutes for charging, and there was no supplementary discipline by the league. He was, however, confronted after the hit by Tampa Bay D Victor Hedman.

"I thought it was dirty," Hedman said. "So obviously, I want to step in there and prove a point that he's not doing that to one of our skill guys."

"You have to appreciate him doing that," Conacher said. "It's the type of teammate you want."

NICE SENTIMENT: Terry Crisp, the Lightning first coach and now a television analyst for the Predators, was honored as part of Tampa Bay's 20th anniversary celebration, and he reveled in the spotlight.

"I coached for 20-plus years. And I've been called a lot of things, and some of them I deserved," Crisp said. "But the nicest thing they call me is I'm an original Lightning, and that sticks pretty nice, I'll tell you."

ODDS AND ENDS: The Lightning won 61 percent of faceoffs against the Jets. … C Adam Hall and defensemen Brendan Mikkelson and Marc-Andre Bergeron were scratched.

Comments
Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

CHICAGO — It didn’t take the sound of a door slamming in the visitor’s dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay believed it had worked hard against the Wild — at least, harder than it did in Thursday’s letharg...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best coverageThe best football broadcast I’ve ever seen was Super Bowl XLIII. That was NBC’s coverage of the Steelers’ last-minute victory over th...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Expansion Golden Knights pass Lightning for top spot in NHL

Expansion Golden Knights pass Lightning for top spot in NHL

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Golden Knights are giving Vegas a great odds-beating story in their first year.The expansion team has the whole league playing catchup.James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault scored to help Vegas beat the Hurricanes 5-1 on Sunday and...
Updated: 5 hours ago
What’s gone wrong with Lightning?

What’s gone wrong with Lightning?

It didn't take the sound of a door slamming in the dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay felt like it worked hard – at least, harder than Thursday's listless loss to Vegas – yet dropped another ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Ondrej Palat out indefinitely, Lightning calls up two

Ondrej Palat out indefinitely, Lightning calls up two

The Lightning's telling trip just got tougher.Wing Ondrej Palat flew back to Tampa for more tests Monday and will be out indefinitely, a big blow to the Lightning's shutdown line. Palat suffered a lower-body injury getting speared by Minnesota's Jare...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning falls to Wild, its fifth loss in seven games

Lightning falls to Wild, its fifth loss in seven games

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Lightning said all the right things about needing to look in the mirror and do some soul-searching during its recent funk. Veterans said they had to lead the way. Coach Jon Cooper believed this eight-game trip would "show us wha...
Published: 01/20/18
Updated: 01/21/18
Mikhail Sergachev gets thrown into the fire for Lightning

Mikhail Sergachev gets thrown into the fire for Lightning

ST. PAUL, Minn. — For the first 20-plus games this season, Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness knew "the look" was coming.The other team’s top line would jump over the boards and Tampa Bay rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev would peek over at Bow...
Published: 01/20/18
Missing the Olympics a missed opportunity (and misstep) for NHL?

Missing the Olympics a missed opportunity (and misstep) for NHL?

One week from today, Tampa will be the center of the hockey world.The All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. Players will smile for the cameras. They'll put on a fantastic show. Maybe they'll catch a bead or two from a Gasparilla parade.But you ...
Published: 01/20/18
Andrei Vasilevskiy: ‘I have to be better’

Andrei Vasilevskiy: ‘I have to be better’

The rest of the Lightning players had already left the ice Friday afternoon, heading into the dressing room for a quick change before the team's charter flight to Minnesota.But goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, 23, stayed on late, facing about 15 minutes mo...
Published: 01/20/18
Sunday Conversation: Lightning VP Keith Harris strikes a chord for the Boys & Girls Clubs

Sunday Conversation: Lightning VP Keith Harris strikes a chord for the Boys & Girls Clubs

Keith Harris fondly looks back on some memorable days from his Tampa upbringing when he worked as a lifeguard at a pool next to a Boys & Girls Club. ¶Whenever it rained, he watched as the kids retreated to the safe haven of the club. They entered int...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/21/18