Sunday, May 27, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Crombeen takes NHL fights lead

OTTAWA — B.J. Crombeen had two fights Saturday against the Senators, giving the Lightning right wing a league-most 12 for the season.

His bout with 5:20 left in the first period with Matt Kassian was as much about trying to give Tampa Bay, down 2-0, a spark as about Kassian trying to rough up rookie Cory Conacher.

But his second-period fight with D Marc Methot was personal. Crombeen said he believed Methot's hip check clipped his knee. Crombeen got 17 minutes in penalties: two for instigating, five for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.

"You don't want to be putting the team down," Crombeen said. "But you don't want to let them think that's okay. In the moment, it's a heat-of-the-battle thing. You try to do what you can to stay composed and stay within your game and make decisions that aren't hurting the team."

The Lightning survived Ottawa's two-minute power play, and Crombeen got plaudits from C Steven Stamkos, who bemoaned the team's lack of urgency in the game, especially in the first period, which it ended down 4-0 on the way to losing 5-3.

"Except for Crombeen," Stamkos said. "You can't expect him to go out there and fight everyone on their team, although he would."

"It's a thing when you have to stand up and stick together as a team and a group," Crombeen said.

THOMPSON CONTRACT: C Nate Thompson agreed to a four-year contract extension through 2016-17 worth $6.4 million. He is making $850,000 this season. "It was important to get him locked up," GM Steve Yzerman said. "He's part of our future."

Thompson, 28, has six goals and 10 points in 31 games, is a primary penalty killer, has won 50.8 percent of his faceoffs and leads the team with 61 hits.

"To show that confidence Steve has in me is a great feeling," said Thompson, acquired in January 2010 off waivers from the Islanders. "I love this organization. I love the core group of guys. It's just a great fit for me and a no-brainer."

CLEARED: D Brian Lee cleared waivers and is expected to be assigned to AHL Syracuse when D Andrej Sustr, out of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, reports this week.

It has been a difficult season for Lee, 25, who during the summer signed a two-year, $2.3 million contract. He has zero points and is minus-13 in 22 games and a scratch in the past six.

"It's a learning process. I'm not giving up or writing him off by any means," said Yzerman, who acquired Lee in February 2012 from the Senators for D Matt Gilroy. "I believe there's something there. He's capable of playing in this league."

ODDS AND ENDS: Stamkos appeared hurt in the third when he hit the end boards while checking Methot. But he did not miss a shift and said after the game he was fine. … D Sergei Gonchar's assist on Daniel Alfredsson's first of two goals gave him assists in 10 straight games, a Senators record. … Ottawa's 25 home points (11-2-3) are most in the Eastern Conference. … Lightning D Marc-Andre Bergeron and RW Pierre-Cedric Labrie also were scratched.

Comments
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegasí birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegasí birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Published: 05/25/18
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechki...
Published: 05/24/18
Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and donít panic

Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and donít panic

TAMPA — Don't change a thing.Don't blow it up. Don't fire anyone. Don't overreact.Thursday was not an easy day in Lightning Land. It was the day after the end of a season that ended much too soon. It was a day when bags were packed, questions w...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

TAMPA — Not surprisingly, several Lightning players went through the playoffs with what general manager Steve Yzerman called "significant injuries."He would not elaborate Thursday on who they were, though he said that information will be made p...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

TAMPA — Lightning fans were heading for the exits with three minutes remaining in Tampa Bay's 4-0 loss to Washington Wednesday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Understandable given the disappointment of not reaching the Stanley C...
Published: 05/24/18
The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

TAMPA — Washington is on to Vegas. The Lightning is not. So we asked the Times' Lightning coverage team for the single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn't headed to the Stanley Cup final. Here's their answers:Roger Mooney, staff writer: Th...
Published: 05/24/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

The Lightning will miss out on the Stanley Cup final after being shut out by the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. The Bolts were the highest-scoring team during the regular season but failed to score in almost all of the final eigh...
Published: 05/24/18
Postgame reactions from Lightningís Game 7 loss to the Capitals

Postgame reactions from Lightningís Game 7 loss to the Capitals

The Lightning was shut out once in the first 97 games of the season, the playoffs included. Then it was shut out during the last two games of the Eastern Conference final, including 4-0 on Wednesday to the Capitals in Game 7.Here are some postgame re...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

TAMPA — After Alex Ovechkin's goal 62 seconds into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Wednesday, the next highlight was an extended fight between Lightning D Braydon Coburn and Capitals RW Tom Wilson, with a two-minute break for them to spe...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18