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Lightning's Callahan cleared for contact after hip surgery

TAMPA — Lightning F Ryan Callahan blasted a puck past G Ben Bishop during Friday's practice, then raised his arms, skated to the bench and walked up the tunnel to the dressing room.

A walkoff goal.

"I got lucky," Callahan said.

It was a feel-good day for Callahan, who finally shed the orange no-contact jersey he had been wearing. That's a big step for Callahan as he rehabilitates after offseason hip surgery.

"There's obviously some stuff to get to where I need to be, and contact is a big hurdle," Callahan said. "So we'll see how I feel after I went through it and go from there."

Callahan expects to return in November. Coach Jon Cooper has said he hopes the return is closer to Nov. 1 than Nov. 30.

"His jersey color may change, but when he's returning … hasn't changed," Cooper said. "That one is way more important to me. He's champing to get back. His body is holding him back a little while longer."

MR. SAVE: Bishop had 28 saves against the Red Wings in Thursday's 6-4 season-opening win against the Red Wings, moving him past Daren Puppa for the most in franchise history. Bishop has 4,963. Pupa had 4,959.

"It's pretty cool," Bishop said. "When I got traded here (in April 2013 from the Senators) I didn't really think about breaking all these records. It's just a tribute to a great team in front of me, good coaches.

"All that stuff piles up. Some of these records are being broken. It's an honor, and I'll try and get them as high as I can before they get broken."

A BUSY DEBUT: F Brayden Point, who played 16 minutes, 12 seconds over 19 shifts Thursday in his NHL debut, was surprised at the amount of playing time.

"Obviously, they gave me some opportunity," Point, 20, said. "I tried to take advantage of it, work hard."

NUTS AND BOLTS: Cooper said G Andrei Vasilevskiy and D Slater Koekkoek, a healthy scratch Thursday, will play during this homestand The next game is against the Devils tonight. … D Andrej Sustr said he held his own in his first NHL fight Thursday, against Red Wings D Brendan Smith, who has been in 11. "Just making sure I had a good grab and hold on him," Sustr said. "I got a couple good shots at him."

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

Lightning's Callahan cleared for contact after hip surgery 10/14/16 [Last modified: Friday, October 14, 2016 8:59pm]
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