Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Injured Stralman travels with Lightning to Detroit

DETROIT — D Anton Stralman is moving closer to a return to the Lightning lineup.

"Not for (the) first round," coach Jon Cooper said. "Maybe second round."

Stralman (fractured left leg) traveled with Tampa Bay to Detroit for Games 3 and 4. And while Cooper said Stralman won't play in this first-round series, he's making progress from an injury sustained March 25. Stralman did an off-ice workout Sunday morning with strength and conditioning coordinator Mark Lambert, and he rode the stationary bike.

"If we're fortunate enough to move on, then now we can start talking about, 'There's a chance of seeing him,' " Cooper said. "But there's no timeline."

But like with captain Steven Stamkos (blood clot, out at least one month and maybe three), having Stralman around the team can be impactful.

"He's an extremely popular player on that team," Cooper said. "He keeps things light in our group. Much like when Stammer was around our team, part of our success is we have a close team, so the more these guys are around, it's been good for everyone. Plus, you see them around, you feel like, 'Okay, they're coming back.' "

Next man up: RW Erik Condra was excited enough to play in Game 3 after being a healthy scratch in the first two games.

But being from the Detroit area makes this even more special — and expensive — because of the number of ticket requests from family and friends.

"Have to be paying to play (Sunday), that's for sure," Condra said, smiling.

Condra got an opportunity because of J.T. Brown's upper body injury, sustained Friday, that will keep him out the rest of the series. Cooper shuffled the bottom six, with C Vladislav Namestnikov moving up to play with LW Cedric Paquette and RW Ryan Callahan.

Condra slotted in with C Brian Boyle and RW Mike Blunden, a grinding line that clicked late in the season. Condra was minus-1 in 7:28.

"They've been really effective," Cooper said. "It should be a seamless transition."

Condra's defensive play, and penalty-killing ability, likely gave him an edge over RW Jonathan Marchessault, who was a healthy scratch for the third straight game (along with D Matt Taormina).

Chicken?: After Wings F Justin Abdelkader didn't drop his gloves in a post-buzzer scuffle with C Brian Boyle, the Lightning center did a chicken dance.

Abdelkader — who drew the Lightning's ire for repeatedly punching Blunden in a brawl Friday — said he would have liked to have fought Boyle, but he's not 100 percent and his hands were taped.

"I asked the ref if I cut him, it is a misconduct there and I already got one, so I've got to be careful," Abdelkader said. "Obviously I want to stand up for myself, too, but this time of year when you've got injuries and you're banged up, you've got to be smart, too."

Coach Jeff Blashill said he told Abdelkader before the game not to fight because he's "too valuable of a player." Asked about Boyle's chicken dance, Abdelkader said, "It's kind of funny, but if he wants to do that, that's what he wants to show, whatever."

Proud papa: D Nikita Nesterov's wife, Katerina, gave birth to a boy, Mikhail, at 3 a.m. Thursday, hours after Wednesday's Game 1. Nesterov stayed with his wife and child until they were released from the hospital Saturday, flying up to Detroit on his own.

Contact Joe Smith at joesmith@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

Injured Stralman travels with Lightning to Detroit 04/17/16 [Last modified: Sunday, April 17, 2016 11:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE

    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.