Saturday, November 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Injured Lightning players will get time to heal

RECOMMENDED READING


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lightning coach Jon Cooper was hoping LW Ondrej Palat (undisclosed injury) would return for Friday's game at Washington, but Palat missed his fifth consecutive game.

"Christmas did not come early for us," Cooper said before the 4-0 loss.

The four-day Christmas break that begins today should give some, if not all, the injured Lightning players listed as day to day a chance to heal and return to the lineup when the season resumes Wednesday against visiting Montreal.

The list includes RW Ryan Callahan (12 games missed/hip injury), RW Nikita Kucherov (six games/lower body), C Cedric Paquette (two games/lower body) and C Vladislav Namestnikov (two games/illness).

"Whether it's one player or five, I think eventually we'll get one of those forwards back," Cooper said. "It's too early now, especially with some of the injuries they have. If you rush them back it might hurt them down the road, so we got to wait."

KRISTERS DEBUTS: With Ben Bishop out, G Andrei Vasilevskiy started Friday at the Capitals, playing both ends of a back-to-back for the first time this season.

Cooper said G Kristers Gudlevskis, called up when Bishop was injured Tuesday, will get some starts. But with the Lightning off until Wednesday and with Vasilevskiy not overworked this season, Cooper felt Vasilevskiy (who played nearly 48 minutes Tuesday in place of Bishop) could handle playing twice in two nights.

"Bish is gone for a while, so we'll have to manage what's going to happen here," Cooper said. "You look at this as a back-to-back, but we get four days off, so there's breathing room here. Vasi has played this year, but it wasn't like he's been playing every single night, so it's not like he's tired. He's a young kid, he can handle it. He's probably been looking for this kind of opportunity."

Gudlevskis made his debut when he replaced Vasilevskiy in the third period after LF Marcus Johansson's goal made it 4-0 Caps.

HEAVY WORKLOAD: LW Michael Bournival played his third hockey game in three nights Friday and his sixth in eight days.

The increased workload was the result of his being called from AHL Syracuse after Wednesday's game.

"I think when you have a chance to be in the NHL, I think there's nothing that's going to stop you to bring energy," Bournival said after scoring a goal in Thursday's come-from-behind win against the Blues. "It's a great feeling to be back in this league."

That was Bournival's first NHL goal since February 2015, having dealt with concussion issues the past year-and-a-half while with Montreal. The Lightning signed him over the summer.

It was a big goal, tying the score at 2-2 in the Lightning's 5-2 win.

Bournival was part of an unlikely fourth line, teaming with J.T. Brown and defenseman Nikita Nesterov, who played forward for the first time in the NHL. The trio was key cogs in stopping the Blues' line with Vladimir Tarasenko, matching up with them with three minutes left and protecting a two-goal lead.

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

Comments
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...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning pummels Stars for fifth straight win

Lightning pummels Stars for fifth straight win

TAMPA — The Lightning welcomed Ben Bishop back with a classy, fitting video tribute in Thursday’s first period. The sellout crowd of 19,092 at Amalie Arena gave Bishop, the greatest goalie in franchise history, a standing ovation. It was an emotional...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Lightning journal: Specials teams in the spotlight vs. Stars

Lightning journal: Specials teams in the spotlight vs. Stars

TAMPA — C Braydon Point’s shorthanded goal tipped the game in the Lightning’s favor and the three penalties it killed during the second period kept it that way in Thursday’s 6-1 victory against the Stars.Dallas entered the game with an NHL-best 30.2 ...
Published: 11/16/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Stars game

There was a classy, fitting video tribute to former Lightning goalie Ben Bishop in the first period. Think of all the moments in his five seasons in Tampa Bay. It had to be emotional for Bishop, who calls Tampa his second home. He touched his heart a...
Published: 11/16/17
Lightning vs. Stars vs. Bishop vs. No. 1 PP in NHL

Lightning vs. Stars vs. Bishop vs. No. 1 PP in NHL

Stars’ G Ben Bishop returns to Amalie Arena tonight for the first time since his last home game as a Lightning, which came before last season’s trade deadline.The teacher vs. the pupil (Lightning G Andrei Vasilevskiy) is one story line.He...
Published: 11/16/17
Lightning hold ‘Military Appreciation Night’ tonight

Lightning hold ‘Military Appreciation Night’ tonight

The Lightning will wear special camouflaged jerseys during pregame warmups tonight as part of "Military Appreciation Night."The jerseys include a nametag of an honorary service man or woman who will be present during the warmups, either on the team b...
Published: 11/16/17
Rick and Tom podcast: The hottest team in sports plays in Tampa Bay

Rick and Tom podcast: The hottest team in sports plays in Tampa Bay

The hottest team in sports plays right here in Tampa Bay, as the Lightning has started the season 14-2-2, goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy leads the NHL in wins, Steven Stamkos leads in points and Nikita Kucherov leads in goals scored. In the latest episode...
Published: 11/16/17
Jones: The goalie who could make us forget Ben Bishop

Jones: The goalie who could make us forget Ben Bishop

TAMPA — Former Lightning goalie Ben Bishop showed up at Amalie Arena on Wednesday.So how’s the big guy doing?Don’t know. Don’t care.Sorry, that’s wasn’t meant to be mean. Bishop is a great goalie, a good guy and a class act. He helped turn the Lightn...
Published: 11/15/17
Lightning Strikes podcast: Ben Bishop vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy

Lightning Strikes podcast: Ben Bishop vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy

In our latest Lightning Strikes! podcast, Joe Smith and Tom Jones discuss Ben Bishop’s return to Tampa, his legacy with the Lightning, and the play of new No. 1 goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.They also talk about the emergence of Vladislav Namestnikov, th...
Published: 11/15/17
The net that used to belong to Ben Bishop is in good hands with Andrei Vasilevskiy

The net that used to belong to Ben Bishop is in good hands with Andrei Vasilevskiy

TAMPA — When Andrei Vasilevskiy stares across the Amalie Arena ice tonight, he’ll see his mentor, his "big brother."Vasilevskiy, 23, will also see a little bit of himself. Ben Bishop, 30, the greatest goalie in franchise history, took Vasilevskiy und...
Published: 11/15/17