Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Drouin gets two goals in AHL debut

EDMONTON — Forward Jonathan Drouin likely knew this weekend's games with AHL Syracuse would be big ones for him, his first action since his November trade request was made public Sunday.

And Drouin, 20, did himself and the Lightning a lot of good by dazzling Friday night, scoring two goals in the first period of a 6-4 loss to host Albany. Drouin played center on the top line, finishing with five shots in just over 18 minutes of playing time. Approximately 10 scouts from NHL teams, including the Rangers and Kings, were in attendance.

Drouin, the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2013 by the Lightning, has drawn a lot of interest around the league, though GM Steve Yzerman has insisted he won't make a deal just because one was requested. It has to be the right fit. "I'll do what's best for the club," Yzerman said Friday.

Drouin had been sent to Syracuse last week to get playing time, having appeared in just 19 NHL games this season due to lower-body injuries. Friday was just his second game since Dec. 10. He was scheduled to play for the Crunch tonight in Syracuse and Sunday in Rochester.

It's no secret the Lightning has been scouting the Blues heavily. Yzerman and assistant GM Pat Verbeek were at Monday's St. Louis game against Ottawa. Yzerman and Verbeek each caught a Blues game last month. The Lightning is in the market for a right-shot defenseman, preferably one to help quarterback the power play, and the Blues have Kevin Shattenkirk, 26, who is "in play" in the trade market, ESPN reported.

WORLD CUP TALK: With the Lightning in Edmonton to play the Oilers on Friday, coach Jon Cooper got together Thursday night with Oilers coach Todd McLellan, with whom he'll share the bench at September's World Cup of Hockey tournament.

In the eight-team tournament, Cooper is on McLellan's staff for the team to be made up of players 24 and younger from North America. The two wanted to compare notes on players they've seen.

The coaches have been crossing paths since the late 1980s, when McLellan played for the Islanders and Cooper was at Hofstra.

"(Cooper is) a tremendous coach," McLellan said. "He brings a youthful energy to the game and to the team, and we are going to be an under-24 team (at the World Cup), so we're going to need that. So I think there's a lot of real positive attributes that he can bring."

When asked about the potential candidacy of Drouin for the team, McLellan said he hadn't seen the forward play enough for a true evaluation. "He's a tremendous player," McLellan said.

NUTS AND BOLTS: RW Ryan Callahan, who left Tuesday's game against the Flames with a lower-body injury, played Friday. RW Jonathan Marchessault was scratched, allowing RW Erik Condra, scratched the past three games, to get in the lineup. D Matt Carle was scratched for the second straight game and the seventh time this season. … Syracuse D Anthony DeAngelo, the Lightning's 2014 first-round draft pick, was scratched against Albany as a "coach's decision," coach Rob Zettler said. … Three Syracuse players — C Mike Angelidis, G Kristers Gudlevskis and D Matt Taormina — made the AHL All-Star Game on Feb. 1 in Syracuse.

. Tonight

Lightning at Canucks

When/where: 10, Rogers Arena, Vancouver

TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun

Key stats: The Lightning won both meetings between the teams last season. … The Canucks had a 2-1 victory in Tampa on Dec. 22 when Tampa Bay went 1-for-10 on the power play. … Vancouver entered Friday 25th on the power play at 16.7 percent and 24th in scoring, averaging 2.37 goals. … The Canucks are led by the Sedin twins, Daniel (38 points) and Henrik (34 points). … G Andrei Vasilevskiy is expected to start for Tampa Bay.

Comments
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy’s dreams are coming true

Andrei Vasilevskiy’s dreams are coming true

GLENDALE, Ariz — Nikita Kucherov’s toughest challenge isn’t facing Canadiens goalie Carey Price, or Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky.It comes in practice against Andrei Vasilevskiy. "I’ve been saying, I thought he was going to be the top goalie in the leag...
Published: 12/13/17
Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

ST. LOUIS — Tyler Johnson hasn’t played very much wing in his career, primarily sticking to his natural center position. But lately, Johnson has been stellar on the right side.Johnson’s assist in Tuesday’s win over the Blues extended his point streak...
Published: 12/13/17
Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

ST. LOUIS — This showdown was supposed to be about the best team in the East versus the best in the West. In reality, the Lightning’s 3-0 win over the Blues on Tuesday night pretty much came down to this:Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalies ...
Published: 12/12/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Blues

Andrei Vasilevskiy might have made the save of the year. With the Lightning leading by one midway through the second, an Alex Steen dump-in took a wild carom off the boards. Vasilevskiiy somehow sprawled out for a right-toe save. Then, on his back, V...
Published: 12/12/17
Lightning face Blues in showdown between NHL’s top two teams

Lightning face Blues in showdown between NHL’s top two teams

The Lightning's west coast trip will start with a bang tonight in St. Louis.Tonight's game will pit the top two teams in the NHL, with Tampa Bay (21-6-2) atop the Eastern Conference, the Blues (21-8-2) the No. 1 team in the West.Fittingly, an NBCSN-a...
Published: 12/12/17
How Lightning coach Jon Cooper reinvented himself

How Lightning coach Jon Cooper reinvented himself

BRANDON — The best team in town had just wrapped up practice. The Lightning had a plane to catch, to St. Louis, where Tuesday in St. Louis begins a four-city road trip that ends at expansion Las Vegas, exclusive engagement, one show a night, unless y...
Published: 12/11/17
All boxes checked on Lightning home stand sweep; now, back to the road

All boxes checked on Lightning home stand sweep; now, back to the road

TAMPA — You don’t often see a coach making shadow puppets on the wall with his hands at the start of his postgame news conference, but that’s where the Lightning is these days after sweeping a four-game home stand with Saturday night’s 4-3 overtime v...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated game story: Lightning’s Brayden Point credits luck, opportunity for OT winner vs. Jets

Updated game story: Lightning’s Brayden Point credits luck, opportunity for OT winner vs. Jets

TAMPA — His coach says he plays every game as if he doesn’t play his best, he’s going to be sent down. That is not the case with Brayden Point, but who doesn’t want that kind of effort from a second-year player who has more than established himself i...
Published: 12/09/17

Brayden Point scores in OT to give Lightning win over Jets

TAMPA — The Jets saw Saturday’s game against the Lightning as a benchmark game, a way to measure themselves against the NHL’s top team. The Lightning had circled the game, the last of a four-game home stand."It’s going to be a big test for us," Light...
Published: 12/09/17