Sunday, September 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Bishop on target for mid-month return

TAMPA — When it comes to Ben Bishop's return, the Lightning is California hoping.

The goalie, who has been out since Dec. 20 with a lower-body injury, skated in full pads the past two days and is expecting to return around the start of a six-game road trip that begins Jan. 16 in Los Angeles against the Kings.

"That's obviously still the goal, maybe sooner," Bishop said after Thursday's morning skate before the game against the Predators. "We'll take it as it goes. Things are going in the right direction. I'm excited to be back."

Bishop was injured against the Red Wings while making a save with his right pad. He said the injury wasn't serious, nor will it affect his career long term.

ROUGH NIGHT FOR VASILEVSKIY: He gives up five goals in a loss to the Predators.

"I felt it right away," Bishop said. "It stinks. It's never fun to get hurt. But it's the same thing, not much you can do about it. Just deal with it."

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT: AHL Syracuse linemates C Matthew Peca and LW Adam Erne were reunited when they were in the starting lineup. Peca was playing in his fifth NHL game, Erne in his second. "They've forced themselves to stay in the lineup," coach Jon Cooper said. "They don't give you a reason to pull them out. They're playing hard. They're playing with speed. They're playing with pace, and that's what we need."

WELCOME, WILCOX: G Adam Wilcox was recalled Wednesday, meaning all six players in the Lightning's 2011 draft class have made the NHL roster at some point (the others: forwards Peca, Vladislav Namestnikov, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat, and D Nikita Nesterov). All six were on the bench Thursday.

Wilcox said he recently watched a Lightning game and saw a graphic with the 2011 class on it. Wilcox was the only one not on the NHL roster. "I'm like, 'I've got to be up there or I'll be the anchor of the draft class,' " he said.

Wilcox replaced Kristers Gudlevskis, who was sent back to Syracuse. He had received the bulk of the playing time with the Crunch even before Gudlevskis was called up Dec. 21 to back up Andrei Vasilevskiy after Bishop was injured. Wilcox is 13-5-2 with a 2.55 goals-against average.

Gudlevskis appeared in one game, replacing Vasilevskiy in the third period of a 4-0 loss at Washington on Dec. 23. The Lightning plays back-to-back games this weekend at Philadelphia (1 p.m. Saturday) and Pittsburgh (5 p.m. Sunday), so it's possible Wilcox could get a start.

INJURY UPDATES: C Cedric Paquette played his first game after missing six games with a lower-body injury. … D Braydon Coburn left after skating just one shift in the third period. Cooper said he would be evaluated today. … C Brian Boyle missed his second game with a lower body injury.

SUSTR SCRATCHED: D Andrej Sustr was a healthy scratch, missing his first game of the season. "Trying to put the best lineup possible (on the ice) to win a hockey game," Cooper said.

nuts and bolts: D Matt Taormina and F Yanni Gourde were named to the AHL All-Star Game. Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx was named to the coaching staff.

Comments
Lightning forward prospect Boris Katchouk putting together strong preseason

Lightning forward prospect Boris Katchouk putting together strong preseason

TAMPA — As the end of training camp looms, there's no clear-cut answer as to how the Lightning will fill the one, maybe two open forward spots in its lineup.It could go with Adam Erne. Spending much of his time in AHL Syracuse the past three se...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning journal: ‘No-risk’ forward pickup; another preseason win; Fan Fest on Sunday

Lightning journal: ‘No-risk’ forward pickup; another preseason win; Fan Fest on Sunday

TAMPA — It didn't take long for Lightning GM Julien BriseBois to decide he wanted to put a waiver claim in Friday.Not when he saw that F Danick Martel was available."He's a player we have had on our radar for a while, going back to actually his...
Updated: 6 hours ago
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