Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Jon Cooper: Game 1 worse on review

TAMPA — Cedric Paquette was of two minds after Wednesday's 5-4 overtime loss to the Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

The Lightning rookie center wanted to forget his defensive blunder that led to the winning goal.

"I tried to think about anything else," he said Thursday.

At the same time, "it's a play you have to remember because you don't want to make it again."

What Paquette did was leave the slot in front of the Tampa Bay net and Montreal's Dale Weise uncovered. With defensemen Radko Gudas and Eric Brewer also behind the goal line, Weise had all the time in the world to zip a wrist shot past G Anders Lindback with 1:52 left in the extra period.

"I went the wrong way," Paquette said.

He wasn't alone in doing that. Coach Jon Cooper said after watching the game video that the Lightning played worse than what he first believed.

"I was extremely disappointed in the way we played," he said. "The 78 minutes we played, they were the better team."

Cooper also said some of Montreal's success came because of Tampa Bay's "colossal errors that can't happen at playoff time."

Paquette's was the most visible, but defensemen Victor Hedman and Mike Kostka, among others, were guilty as well.

"But very correctable," Cooper said. "Getting the first game out of the way is going to help the nerves of a lot of our guys. It's the old 'work smarter, not harder,' that's what we have to do."

PALAT UPDATE: Injured rookie Ondrej Palat, who had a team-best 59 regular-season points and left Game 1 early in the third period, will be a game-time decision for Game 2 tonight, Cooper said.

Palat took a knee-to-knee hit from Montreal D P.K. Subban, but Cooper said the injury was to the upper body. That made some wonder if the left wing still was feeling the effects of Friday's hit from Columbus D Jack Johnson. That included contact with Palat's head and kept him out of Sunday's regular-season finale at Washington.

"Maybe partially," Cooper said when asked if Palat's injuries were related. "He's been part of some pretty physical hits the last few games."

Palat does not have a concussion, Cooper said.

BISHOP UPDATE: G Ben Bishop (left elbow) skated on his own in full gear before Thursday's practice, but the main activity of his left hand was catching pucks tossed by assistant trainer Mike Poirier.

Cooper said he did not expect to see Bishop in a game soon but then indicated Bishop might be able to play if the series is "extended a little bit."

That is consistent with what Cooper said before the series.

KILLORN UP: If Palat can't go tonight, Alex Killorn likely will take his spot on left wing with Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson.

The line clicked in Game 1. Killorn had a goal in the third period, and his fake shot and pass set up Stamkos' third-period goal that tied the score 4-4.

The line also was together at Washington when Palat sat out.

"I feel good on that line," Killorn said. "As long as we play fast, we'll be able to create some offensive chances."

Comments
Lightning has goalie Peter Budaj’s back after near-collapse

Lightning has goalie Peter Budaj’s back after near-collapse

LAS VEGAS — After the Avalanche made a seemingly insurmountable Lightning lead shaky Saturday night, defenseman Victor Hedman was the first to skate toward backup goalie Peter Budaj and give an encouraging pat on the pads with his stick.Budaj’s stat ...
Published: 12/17/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Avalanche

Could tell just how much Ryan Callahan meant in the Lightning dressing room by hearing teammates talk about his latest injury. Steven Stamkos said he was "sick to my stomach." Brayden Point called him a "heart and soul player." Teammates all saw how ...
Published: 12/16/17
Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

The good news for the Lightning is that GM Steve Yzerman is hopeful RW Ryan Callahan will be ready to go in 3-4 weeks when his upper body injury is re-evaluated. The hard part, however, is finding someone to replace the veteran wing. "I don’t know if...
Published: 12/16/17
Lightning trying to replace ‘heart and soul’ Ryan Callahan

Lightning trying to replace ‘heart and soul’ Ryan Callahan

With veteran wing Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks with an upper body injury, the natural question is who will fill his shoes?"I don't know if anyone can," coach Jon Cooper said.That's not to say the Lightning (26-6-2) can't win without Callahan....
Published: 12/16/17
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch has won 10 straight after Friday’s victory over Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental league, the ...
Published: 12/16/17
Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

When Lightning wing Ryan Callahan took a nasty spill into the boards Thursday night, it didn't look good.Turns out, it wasn't. Callahan will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper body injury, evaluated after three to four weeks, per GM Steve Yzerma...
Published: 12/15/17
When you think you’ve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

When you think you’ve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Center Brayden Point is the Lightning’s calmest player, both on the ice and off, according to Victor Hedman.Point’s soft-spoken nature belies his baby face and 5-foot-10 frame. "I’ve never seen him angry before," Hedman said.That ma...
Published: 12/15/17
Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

The Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday night still featured the usual post-game music in the dressing room.But there was more of a somber tone with veteran right wing Ryan Callahan's right arm in a sling. Callahan, who got hurt on a na...
Published: 12/15/17
Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. — As much as the Lightning has been rolling, it remembered how it lost twice last season to the Coyotes.That included blowing a one-goal third-period lead at home down the stretch, with Tampa Bay missing the playoffs by a point."You l...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the dynamic Lightning defenseman. They both were top 10 picks in 2016, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in th...
Published: 12/14/17