Sunday, September 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning all about piling up points at home (w/ video)

TAMPA — The Lightning is more than halfway through a five-game homestand it deemed crucial toward a playoff-spot run, and so far, well, so good.

Saturday's win against Carolina gave the Lighting five points through the first three games. The Lightning is two points behind Nos. 2 and 3 Ottawa and Boston in the Atlantic Division and entered Sunday two points back of Philadelphia for the second wild card spot.

"It's a good step in the right direction," wing Alex Killorn said. "You want to get incrementally better in the standings."

Add home wins against Detroit and St. Louis before a quick trip to Washington just before Christmas and the Lightning has recorded nine points in its past five home games. It is an important stretch, coach Jon Cooper said, because waiting for the Lightning this month is a six-game, 13-day trip that crisscrosses the country, beginning Jan. 16 in Los Angeles and ending Jan. 26 in Sunrise, with stops between in Anaheim, San Jose, Arizona and Chicago.

But the Lightning is used to that kind of grind after spending a good deal of October and November on the road.

"We were so road heavy, we kind of grinded through that," Cooper said. "We have to grind through now the end of January. In between that we have seven of eight at home, and we have to (get points) at home. We're not done yet, and if we want to get back in this race, we have to do that and we are."

Killorn said it was important to gain points on this home­stand against Toronto and Carolina, both below the Lightning in the standings. "We want to keep them behind us," he said.

He also said it was important to beat Montreal in the game that began the homestand because they Lightning is trying to catch the division-leading Canadiens (eight points ahead). But it was the way the Lightning won that game that could be the key to the season, Killorn said.

Trailing 2-0 in the first period, the Lightning forced overtime with a third-period comeback that produced an overtime win. Killorn said the win could prove to be a big shift in momentum: "Hopefully, that Montreal game was the turning point."

NOTES: Forward Adam Erne was recalled from AHL Syracuse. That means the lower-body injury to forward Brian Boyle might keep him out of Tuesday's game against the Jets. … The Lightning practices at 11 a.m. today at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. The practice is open to the public.

Comments
Lightning journal: Roster trimmed to 28

Lightning journal: Roster trimmed to 28

TAMPA – After Sunday morning, the Lightning sat five cuts away from having a 23-man roster to start the regular season.It cut its training camp roster by 27, leaving 28 players on the roster with the start of the regular season less than two we...
Updated: 2 hours ago
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...
Published: 09/22/18
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...
Published: 09/22/18
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