Friday, July 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Crazy-bounce goal part of tough game for Lightning's Bishop

TAMPA — G Ben Bishop was asked Thursday morning about his recent run of solid outings. He credited the play of the defense in front of him and the fact he hasn't experienced crazy bounces that led to goals during the early part of the season.

And then the game started.

Bishop allowed four goals in two periods during the Lightning's 5-1 loss to the offensively challenged Canucks.

Starting his third consecutive game for the first time this season, Bishop allowed a goal by F Jack Skille 3:50 into the game.

No big deal, Bishop said. The Lightning dominated play up until that point.

The second goal, six minutes later, can be filed if not under crazy then in the next folder.

Canucks D Erik Gudbranson fired a shot from inside the blue line. It went past Bishop to the outside of the net, struck the back board and ricocheted directly back toward Bishop, who tried to cover it with his glove. Instead, the puck hit the outside of the glove and deflected into the net.

"Just an unfortunate play," he said. "We got off to a pretty good start. Just an unfortunate bounce. Nothing you can really do about it except keep going."

Coach Jon Cooper said not to read anything into the fact Bishop started the past three games. He said the team needed someone to make the big saves and Bishop did that during the previous two games.

That didn't happen Thursday. Bishop allowed four goals on 20 shots. He was pulled after the second period for Andrei Vasilevskiy.

THEY'RE BACK: RW Jonathan Drouin (undisclosed) and D Jason Garrison (lower body) returned to the lineup. Drouin, who scored his fourth goal of the season in the second period, missed one game, and Garrison two. RW Ryan Callahan (lower body), considered probable by Cooper, was scratched for the fifth straight game. Callahan has said his surgically repaired hip has been nagging him but was encouraged after Monday and Tuesday skates.

UP AND DOWN: D Luke Witkowski joked that it felt like had never left, getting recalled from AHL Syracuse on Wednesday, a couple of days after getting sent down. But Witkowski, who recorded his first NHL point Thursday, has also not left the lineup, playing his third straight game. D Nikita Nesterov and D Slater Koekkoek were healthy scratches. "He's a gamer," Cooper said of Witkowski. "One of the things on the back end, we've got some talented players back there, but need to be a little bit harder and that's what he brings. He's one of those guys the other team knows when he's on the ice, because he will make you pay physically. He's done nothing for us to pull him out of the lineup, and we're not going to."

FITTING IN: F Joel Vermin said it was an honor to play on a line with C Tyler Johnson and LW Ondrej Palat. But Vermin's top-six spot was a reward for his impressive play the past three games after getting recalled. Vermin said he's more confident than his six-game stint last season. "The game has slowed down for him a little bit," Cooper said. "He's got way more confidence making plays."

Comments
Hereís our Mount Rushmore for the Lightning

Hereís our Mount Rushmore for the Lightning

The Lightning just celebrated its 25th anniversary season — long enough to have a Mount Rushmore.Here it is:Marty St. Louis (2000-14)St. Louis is the all-time franchise leader in points and the only Lightning player to make the Hall of Fame aft...
Published: 07/13/18
Lightning names AHLís Derek Lalonde as new assistant

Lightning names AHLís Derek Lalonde as new assistant

The Lightning has completed Jon Cooper's coaching staff for the upcoming season, announcing on Thursday the hiring of Derek Lalonde, who spent the last two seasons as head coach of the American Hockey League's Iowa Wild.Lalonde, 45, has steadily work...
Published: 07/12/18
Lightning re-signs left wing Adam Erne to one-year contract

Lightning re-signs left wing Adam Erne to one-year contract

A busy few weeks of re-signing players continued Wednesday, as the Lightning brought back the last of their restricted free agents, signing left wing Adam Erne to a one-year, $800,000 contract for 2018-19.Erne, 23, was a second-round pick in 2013 and...
Published: 07/11/18
Lightning locks up Nikita Kucherov with 8-year, $76 million extension

Lightning locks up Nikita Kucherov with 8-year, $76 million extension

CLEARWATER — Nikita Kucherov could have waited a year, allowing the demand for a top young NHL scorer to escalate as he hit restricted free agency next summer.But when the Lightning made him an offer to become the highest-paid player in the tea...
Published: 07/10/18
Lightning signs Nikita Kucherov to richest contract in team history

Lightning signs Nikita Kucherov to richest contract in team history

The Lightning took another step toward securing its future Tuesday by announcing that right wing Nikita Kucherov will sign the richest contract in franchise history.Kucherov's eight-year contract extension will pay him an average of $9.5 million star...
Published: 07/10/18
Kucherov signing helps Lightning finish what it started

Kucherov signing helps Lightning finish what it started

TAMPA — The Erik Karlsson sweepstakes hasn't ended for the Lightning.But the Nikita Kucherov sweepstakes is over before it began.The Lightning has locked up its star right winger. An eight-year extension that begins in the 2019-20 season will p...
Published: 07/10/18
Meet the girl behind the Marty St. Louis sign

Meet the girl behind the Marty St. Louis sign

ST. PETERSBURG — When the call from the Hall came, there she was again.The girl with the "I (heart) U Marty" sign, in the newspaper again, this time on the cover of the June 27 Tampa Bay Times sports section. She was frozen in time, doing what ...
Published: 07/07/18
What might Lightning give up to get Erik Karlsson?

What might Lightning give up to get Erik Karlsson?

TAMPA — Shortly after the excitement of the real possibility Thursday night that the Lightning could be trading for defenseman Erik Karlsson, fans quickly came to an uneasy place: What exactly would Tampa Bay give up to get the two-time Norris ...
Published: 07/06/18
The Lightning advantage in Erik Karlsson trade talks

The Lightning advantage in Erik Karlsson trade talks

He wants to be here.This is the place.In case you'd missed it amid the gloom and doom of a Lightning season that came up short again, there are still people who want to play in Tampa Bay.One of them is Erik Sven Gunnar Karlsson of Landsbro, Sweden. T...
Published: 07/06/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Will the Lightning trade for Erik Karlsson?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Will the Lightning trade for Erik Karlsson?

Rick Stroud returns from vacation to discuss reports that the Lightning will acquire star defenseman Erik Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators.He also talks about reaction to Jameis Winston's three-game suspension, the Rays' crazy home stand and which p...
Published: 07/06/18