Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Five more join Lightning camp from World Cup

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — Five more players joined the Lightning on Wednesday after playing for their countries in the World Cup of Hockey: LW Jonathan Drouin (North America); D Andrej Sustr and LW Ondrej Palat (Czech Republic); C Valtteri Filppula (Finland) and D Nikita Nesterov (Russia).

Defensemen Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman (Sweden) have yet to report.

Also absent is RW Nikita Kucherov (Russia), an unsigned restricted free agent.

C Steven Stamkos (Canada) is the only Lightning player left in the World Cup. Canada can win the tournament with a victory in Thursday's Game 2 of the best-of-three final against Europe.

The five returnees plus F Mitchell Stevens, a 2015 second-round draft pick, and goalies Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy participated in an hour-long workout at Amalie Arena.

"It's nice, obviously," Sustr said. "Everybody's looking forward to being back here. Three weeks in a hotel room is not ideal."

The first practices of training camp were intense as the players not in the World Cup try to move their conditioning along to match that of their teammates who were.

"I think I'm in good shape," Palat said. "I've been skating every day."

Despite the earlier start to his season, Palat said he's not quite in midseason form, though the intensity of the Czech Republic's games against Canada and Russia in group play was as high as in any the Lightning will encounter during the regular season."

"Those were intense," Palat said. "It was good to play in them."

HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES: Sustr had one goal in the tournament, and it came in the Czech Republic's final game of group play against the United States. The goalie? Bishop.

"It was kind of lucky," Sustr said.

He beat his teammate with a shot from the corner that found a hole between Bishop and the post. It snapped a 2-2 second-period tie. Teammate Milan Michalek scored 39 seconds later for the winner in the Czech Republic's 4-3 victory. The Czechs didn't advance to the semifinals.

"It was nice to get a win in the last game of the tournament," Sustr said. "That was big for us."

WORLD CUP NOTES: Stamkos scored his first goal of the tournament Tuesday in Canada's 3-1 victory against Europe in the first game of the best-of-three final.

Game 3, if necessary, is Saturday.

Filppula scored Finland's lone goal in the tournament. It came at 15:33 of the third period against North America in Finland's final game of group play.

NUTS AND BOLTS: The Lightning cut 22 players Wednesday, trimming its camp roster to 53.

Comments

‘Good chance’ Cedric Paquette back for Lightning

For Cedric Paquette, the wait may finally be over.Paquette said there's a good chance he returns to the Lightning lineup tonight against the Blackhawks at Amalie Arena (7:30 p.m., NBCSN). Paquette had missed the last 13 games with an undisclosed inju...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Lightning-Blackhawks: Tampa Bay is killing it on penalty-killers

Lightning-Blackhawks: Tampa Bay is killing it on penalty-killers

BRANDON — A successful penalty kill begins long before the offending Lightning player, whistled two minutes earlier for some infraction, leaves the box with the score unchanged.It begins with a detailed scouting report of the opposing team’s power pl...
Published: 11/21/17
Lightning impressed with improved offense from defensemen

Lightning impressed with improved offense from defensemen

BRANDON — At one point during Saturday’s game against the Islanders, the Lightning was first in the NHL in points and second in points scored by its defensemen. That’s one reason the team is off to the best start in franchise history.It’s also by des...
Published: 11/20/17
Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

TAMPA — Jon Cooper stood at the podium late Saturday night to address the media after a regulation loss for only the third time this season."Let’s be honest," he said, "we’ve had one hell of a start."The loss, he added, was frustrating, even when you...
Published: 11/19/17
Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

TAMPA — The firepower showed up in the third period.Yanni Gourde and Ondrej Palat scored 13 seconds apart. Gourde scored again.Suddenly it was a one-goal game, and the Lightning appeared on its way to one of those comeback wins that would be remember...
Published: 11/18/17
Lightning journal: Jon Cooper thrilled with stellar start

Lightning journal: Jon Cooper thrilled with stellar start

TAMPA — If you told coach Jon Cooper his team would open the season with wins in 15 of the first 19 games, well, "I’m not sure I can sit here and say I would have predicted that," he said Saturday morning.But the Lightning did just that to lead the N...
Published: 11/18/17
Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Lightning-Islanders

Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Lightning-Islanders

This is what happens when you have the best record in the league: You get the best from the other team. The Islanders came out strong and the Lightning couldn’t match it, falling behind 4-0 early in the third. For the most part, the Lightning has bee...
Published: 11/18/17
Early Lightning awards: Tough call on MVP

Early Lightning awards: Tough call on MVP

TAMPA — It’s still way early, but if the Lightning’s record start continues, there will be a lot of hardware up for grabs. And we’re not just talking about the Stanley Cup. Nikita Kucherov has league MVP written all over him. Andrei Vasilevskiy coul...
Published: 11/18/17

Red-hot Lightning leading NHL in more than wins

Nikita Kucherov, top left, celebrates with teammate Steven Stamkos (91) after scoring against Florida Panthers goalie James Reimer. [AP photo]The Lightning (15-2-2) enters tonight’s game against the visiting Islanders (10-6-2) leading the leagu...
Published: 11/18/17
Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning

Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning

TAMPA — A local TV crew set up shop in front of Brayden Point’s locker stall the other day, waiting for the Lightning forward to be ready.Then, captain Steven Stamkos walked into the room for his scrum. It didn’t take long for the TV crew to change c...
Published: 11/17/17