Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning sends Nesterov to Canadiens for defense prospect, draft pick

SUNRISE — With his playing time reduced because of the emergence of some of the young defensemen called up from AHL Syracuse, the Lightning sent Nikita Nesterov to the Canadiens before Thursday's game against the Panthers in exchange for D Jonathan Racine and a sixth-round pick in June's draft.

"It was mostly related to our roster," GM Steve Yzerman said. "We were able to acquire a draft pick and potentially not lose a player."

Nesterov, a 2011 fifth-round Lightning draft pick, has played in 119 games over the past three seasons. He was a healthy scratch 13 times in 49 games this season. Nesterov would have had to clear waivers to be sent to Syracuse.

"If he wasn't going to play, if we put him on waivers, we think we'd lose him," Yzerman said. "Just changing our roster a little bit."

Nesterov scored three goals this season, including one during the third period Tuesday that tied the score and helped the Lightning rally for a much-needed 5-2 win at Chicago.

Racine, who played at AHL St. John's, will continue his season at Syracuse. He has played in one NHL game, and that came during the 2013-14 season when he was in the Panthers organization.

Yzerman said defenseman Luke Witkowski and Jake Dotchin are playing well. D Slater Koekkoek, now at Syracuse, has played well there and in the NHL, and could be headed back to Tampa Bay.

The trade does clear salary cap space, but Yzerman said that wasn't much of a factor.

POINT GETTING CLOSER: C Brayden Point continued to skate with the team while wearing a red no-contact jersey. He took shots during 2-on-1 drills and worked on faceoffs.

"I can shoot, stickhandle. No pain," Point said. "It's a good feeling."

Point missed his 14th game Thursday with a fractured bone in his right hand. Coach Jon Cooper said the rookie would be listed as day-to-day once the team returns Monday from the three-day All-Star break that begins today. Cooper said he hoped Point could return Tuesday against the Bruins or Thursday against the Senators.

"Until he gets the final clearance after the break, I can't say yes," Cooper said.

Point said he shot the puck with a little more authority Thursday, which he said was a sign of improvement.

"Every day you try to do a little more. I'm shooting and taking some light faceoffs, and it's feeling fine," he said. "Hopefully it keeps progressing."

Point suffered the injury Dec. 20 during the third period against the Canadiens when he was struck by the puck.

"It hurt, but I just thought maybe it was one of those bone bruises or a bad bruise, something like that," Point said. "It was unfortunate that it was broken."

HEALTH WATCH: LW Michael Bournival missed the game with an upper-body injury. He was listed as day-to-day. … D Jason Garrison returned to the lineup after missing two games with an illness.

Comments
New forward Danick Martel hoping to stick with Lightning

New forward Danick Martel hoping to stick with Lightning

TAMPA — Danick Martel didn't have much of an opportunity to ease his way into his time with the Lightning.On Sunday, 10,164 Lightning fans flocked to Amalie Arena to watch Martel's debut practice, also known as Fan Fest.As if there was not alre...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Lightning journal: Kucherov leaves preseason game with lower-body injury

Lightning journal: Kucherov leaves preseason game with lower-body injury

F Nikita Kucherov played in the first period against the Panthers, but he did not return for the second.Midway through the second, the Lightning ruled him out for the rest of the game with a lower-body injury.Lightning coach Jon Cooper did not want t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning journal: Vinik pushing for outdoor game

Lightning journal: Vinik pushing for outdoor game

As he sat back in his chair facing the stands in the middle of the two benches, Lightning owner Jeff Vinik could not help but remember the first time he sat there.A young Steven Stamkos sat next to him as he spoke in front of a crowd of about 30 peop...
Published: 09/24/18
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...
Published: 09/23/18
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