Saturday, September 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Erik Condra nears Lightning return

NEW YORK — RW Erik Condra was back at practice Monday — and participating in line rushes — with the possibility he could play in tonight's Game 3 against the Islanders.

It was very encouraging for the Lightning considering how bad it looked when Condra's head slammed into the boards after a hit by Islanders' Casey Cizikas in the first period of Wednesday's Game 1. Condra was dazed as he was helped off the ice, saying while he didn't know if he lost consciousness, he was "out of it" for a little.

"It's a scary thing," he said.

Condra said he was in a "fog" briefly but 10 minutes after getting into the locker room he was better and "passing tests." He missed Game 2 but has skated twice since.

"It's weird sometimes," Condra said. "I've seen guys just get bumped and are out for months. Or it looks really bad and you feel pretty good the next day. And that's the way it was for me. And I'm happy about that."

Condra didn't appear to take issue with Cizikas, saying he got hit square at a weird distance from the back boards as he was attempting a pass.

"If I'm closer or further away," he said, "nothing happens."

F Mike Blunden, who missed the first two games of this series with an undisclosed injury, also skated in practice and said he hopes to be ready today.

MEDICAL MATTERS: A few other injured players — D Anton Stralman (fractured leg), J.T. Brown (upper body) and Matt Carle (undisclosed) — skated on their own before practice.

Brown didn't use a stick, an indication he might have a wrist or hand injury. Stralman did a lot of start-and-stop skating drills and shooting. While Carle, who missed Game 2, would appear closer to returning, Cooper wouldn't go as far as to predict Stralman or Brown will play in this series. He had been hopeful before the round started.

"That's what happens when you spout your mouth off, you've got to eat your words at some point," Cooper said. "I'm always the glass half full, so I keep thinking there's a chance, there's a chance. What's the movie? (Dumb and Dumber). That's where we're at."

REPEAT: The Lightning hopes to build off a 4-1 Game 2 win Saturday in which it took control of, outshooting the Islanders 25-5 in the final 30 minutes.

But Tampa Bay, tied 1-1 in the series, knows New York will adjust, especially in its own building.

"We can't expect that every night," C Brian Boyle said. "They're going to come back with a push. It's been two different games, Game 1 and Game 2, we need to understand that there's going to be a different game as well. We've got to come with the same mind-set and understand that we have to try to take one here."

NUTS AND BOLTS: The Lightning had the same lines as Saturday, with the Triplets together. Condra skated on the fourth line with Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Marchessault. Black aces D Slater Koekkoek and Luke Witkowski made the trip. … There were some rough reviews of the ice at Barclays Center, "Soft," Blunden said. But Tampa Bay noted both teams have to deal with it.

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

Comments
Lightning journal: Adam Erne looks to stick in Tampa

Lightning journal: Adam Erne looks to stick in Tampa

Forward Adam Erne flicks the puck into the net, but he has no time to celebrate.He flips around. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Snow flies off his skates. Erne then squares his body as he arrives in the defensive zone, steps away from the net.Within a secon...
Published: 09/21/18
Lightning falls to Hurricanes again in preseason

Lightning falls to Hurricanes again in preseason

The Lightning did not fare much better in its second preseason crack at the Hurricanes.In fact, it did worse.It lost 6-1 Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C.Carolina put a much more veteran team on the ice than it did Tuesday in winning Tampa Bay's preseason o...
Published: 09/19/18
Second-round pick Gabriel Fortier among Lightning’s early cuts

Second-round pick Gabriel Fortier among Lightning’s early cuts

One round of cuts down, several more to go.The Lightning cut seven players on Wednesday, five of whom were training camp invitees, the team announced. All seven players were assigned to juniors.Gabriel Fortier was the most notable cut. The Lightning'...
Published: 09/19/18
Lightning journal: Can Mathieu Joseph sneak his way onto the opening-day roster?

Lightning journal: Can Mathieu Joseph sneak his way onto the opening-day roster?

It remains to be seen if F Mathieu Joseph will make the Lightning's roster. If he doesn't, it certainly won't be because of a lack of opportunities.Joseph saw time on the Lightning power play and penalty kill on Tuesday at Amalie Arena when Tampa Bay...
Published: 09/19/18
Hockey News poll: Lightning favored to win Stanley Cup, other awards

Hockey News poll: Lightning favored to win Stanley Cup, other awards

Falling just short of winning a championship the past few seasons has done nothing to erode fans' confidence in the Lightning.Not just locally, but also nationally and across Canada.The Lightning is the runaway favorite to win the Stanley C...
Published: 09/19/18
Lightning journal: Alex Killorn’s just puttin’ on the Fitz

Lightning journal: Alex Killorn’s just puttin’ on the Fitz

TAMPA — How big is FitzMagic? It has hit the Lightning, too.Proving that Harvard guys stick together, Lightning forward Alex Killorn showed support for fellow Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick by, sort of, dressing up the way Fitzpatrick did after ...
Published: 09/19/18
Even if it’s just preseason, it matters

Even if it’s just preseason, it matters

TAMPA — It's a little after 10 o'clock on Tuesday morning.The NHL's intense regular season is still more than three weeks away. The uber-intense Stanley Cup playoffs are still seven months away.But, on this particular September day on a sheet o...
Published: 09/18/18
Four Lightning players named to The Hockey News’ list of the top 50 in the NHL

Four Lightning players named to The Hockey News’ list of the top 50 in the NHL

The Lightning has one of the biggest collections of talent in the NHL, according to one international hockey publication.Tampa Bay placed four players — second-most in the league — on The Hockey News' list of the top 50 players in th...
Published: 09/18/18
Lightning to live stream six preseason games, starting Tuesday night

Lightning to live stream six preseason games, starting Tuesday night

TAMPA  — The Lightning will live stream six preseason games —starting with the 7:30 p.m. exhibition Tuesday against Carolina —at TampaBayLightning.com.The broadcasts are free and available only inside the Tampa Bay te...
Published: 09/17/18
Lightning’s Cal Foote may be the NHL’s most appropriately named player

Lightning’s Cal Foote may be the NHL’s most appropriately named player

TAMPA — No player on the Lightning's 61-man roster has a more fitting or appropriate name than defenseman Cal Foote.And it's not even close.Actually, good luck finding a last name on any NHL roster that fits better. Foote, Tampa Bay's first-rou...
Published: 09/17/18