Thursday, May 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Gudlevskis starts for Lightning as Bishop finally rests

CHICAGO — G Kristers Gudlevskis was naturally excited to get called Saturday to start against the Blackhawks, his first NHL action in 18 months.

But Ben Bishop was also glad to get a break, having played in the Lightning's first eight games. Bishop said he has been dealing with a minor injury he didn't specify the past four or five games, so it will help him to have a few days off before Tuesday's game in St. Louis. Bishop said the injury is not related to the torn groin he suffered in the Stanley Cup final last season.

"I've had a pretty good run there," Bishop said. "It's been a grind, but I wouldn't want it any other way."

Bishop takes pride in being a workhorse. His 150 regular-season and playoff games played from the 2013-14 to 2014-15 seasons are the third highest among NHL goalies, the Elias Sports Bureau said. Chicago's Corey Crawford had played 154, the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist 153.

With uncertainty at backup as Andrei Vasilevskiy remains sidelined following vascular surgery, Bishop has carried a heavy load. But with Vasilevskiy expected back at practice Monday, help is on the way for Bishop, one player the Lightning can ill afford to lose.

Gudlevskis, recalled from AHL Syracuse on Saturday, will be the backup for the short term. Kevin Poulin was put on waivers Saturday.

Coach Jon Cooper said Gudlevskis was more "game-ready," having made two strong starts for the Crunch, stopping 53 of 55 shots. Gudlevskis said the games gave him confidence but he didn't know when he'd get an NHL call. "You never really expect that," he said. "So it's always good to hear."

Cooper said Poulin was claimed off waivers in late September so the Lightning could "protect ourselves" with Vasilevskiy out and Gudlevskis dealing with an upper-body injury. "(Poulin has) done everything we've asked of him," Cooper said. "Just hasn't played games."

BOYLE OUT: C Brian Boyle was scratched for the second straight game with an undisclosed injury, though Cooper said Boyle is day to day and the issue isn't long term.

Boyle doesn't sit out often — he snapped a streak of 263 consecutive games in Game 1 of last season's Eastern Conference final — but Cooper said this injury involves something that has "lingered with him in the past."

RW J.T. Brown was scratched. Nikita Nesterov was in as seventh defenseman.

JOHNNY BE GOOD: C Tyler Johnson entered Saturday's game as the only Lightning forward without a goal. But he wasn't discouraged, having racked up a team-high 22 shots and 27 scoring chances, including a couple of partial breakaways Friday against the Jets.

"You have to laugh," Johnson said. "That's all you can really do. It's pretty ridiculous. Those things happen. … You go in slumps, but you always bounce back somehow."

Johnson did that last season, when he began with one goal in his first 12 games but finished with 29.

"I'd be lying if you're going to say you're not frustrated," Johnson said. "All that really matters is you're getting the chances. If I wasn't getting chances or our line wasn't playing well, that's when you really got to look in the mirror and really start to question yourself.

"But right now, it's one of those things that just something needs to happen and just work your way out of it."

Comments
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday night, Washington Capitals captain A...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

TAMPA — Lightning fans were heading for the exits with three minutes remaining in Tampa Bay's 4-0 loss to Washington Wednesday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Understandable given the disappointment of not reaching the Stanley C...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn’t headed to the Stanley Cup final

The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn’t headed to the Stanley Cup final

TAMPA — Washington is on to Vegas. The Lightning is not. So we asked the Times' Lightning coverage team for the single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn't headed to the Stanley Cup final. Here's their answers:Roger Mooney, staff writer: Th...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

The Lightning will miss out on the Stanley Cup final after being shut out by the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. The Bolts were the highest-scoring team during the regular season but failed to score in almost all of the final eigh...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Postgame reactions from Lightning’s Game 7 loss to the Capitals

Postgame reactions from Lightning’s Game 7 loss to the Capitals

The Lightning was shut out once in the first 97 games of the season, the playoffs included. Then it was shut out during the last two games of the Eastern Conference final, including 4-0 on Wednesday to the Capitals in Game 7.Here are some postgame re...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

TAMPA — After Alex Ovechkin's goal 62 seconds into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Wednesday, the next highlight was an extended fight between Lightning D Braydon Coburn and Capitals RW Tom Wilson, with a two-minute break for them to spe...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA — The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday with the final horn, or, if you prefer, early in the second period of Game 5, when it scored its last goal of the Eastern Conference final.How about that? The team with the most regular-...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

TAMPA — Yanni Gourde said he will have to see a replay to know just how it got away, but even in a lopsided 4-0 loss like Wednesday night, he'll remember the puck in front of an empty net, and the missed opportunity that encapsulated a frustrat...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

TAMPA — This one stings. And it will ache for a long time. Maybe forever in these parts.Another chance for a Stanley Cup. Another disappointment. As the Lightning skated off the ice after losing Wednesday night's Game 7 of the Eastern Conferenc...
Published: 05/23/18
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

TAMPA — Forget Vegas.The Lightning have left the building.No more season. No more watch parties. No more anything.There is no way around it. Jon Cooper's team couldn't finish, not in Game 7 at home, not in the Eastern Conference final...
Published: 05/23/18