Saturday, November 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's injured Anton Stralman, J.T. Brown not expected back vs. Islanders

RECOMMENDED READING


NEW YORK — Coach Jon Cooper said the Lightning's mantra during the playoffs has been to stay alive so its injured regulars won't have already played their last game of the season.

It sounds like Tampa Bay will have to advance to the Eastern Conference final for D Anton Stralman (fractured leg) and RW J.T. Brown (upper body) to return.

Cooper said Friday he'd be shocked if Brown plays in the second-round series against the Islanders. And Stralman, who reached the six-week mark of his recovery Friday, has been all but ruled out for Sunday's Game 5 at Amalie Arena.

"This one is a little baffling to me," Cooper said of Stralman's injury. "I was hoping way back when this series was starting … (Friday's Game 4) or the next one he'd come back."

Stralman hasn't suffered a setback, Cooper said. His return is just taking longer than originally thought.

"It's a tough injury," Cooper said.

Stralman has been skating either on his own or with the team the past two weeks, including Friday's optional morning skate. Stralman has yet to participate in a full team skate, though, and hasn't appeared to go through contact drills.

Brown, out since getting hurt in Game 2 of the first-round series against the Red Wings, progressed to skating with a full stick the past few days, including taking one-timers Friday morning.

Captain Steven Stamkos (blood clot) also skated Friday, albeit in a red noncontact jersey. He'd have to be taken off blood thinners to return. Stamkos, expected to be out one to three months, reached the one-month mark from his surgery Wednesday.

CARLE RETURNS: The Lightning's blue line got a boost Friday with the return of D Matt Carle, who had missed two games with an undisclosed injury.

Carle didn't play with usual playoff partner Victor Hedman, who remained with Braydon Coburn. Carle was paired with Slater Koekkoek, who was playing in his third straight game. That allowed Jason Garrison and Andrej Sustr to get back together.

"You get more nervous watching than you do playing," Carle said. "So it's not fun to have to watch."

D Luke Witkowski made his playoff debut as the Lightning went with seven defensemen again. He played just 2:14 but was plus-1. Defensemen Nikita Nesterov and Matt Taormina were scratched.

BIEBER MADNESS: With pop star Justin Bieber playing concerts at the Islanders' Barclays Center on Wednesday and Thursday, several Lightning players took the opportunity to see one of his shows.

Nine players — including C Tyler Johnson, LW Ondrej Palat, C Cedric Paquette and RW Mike Blunden — attended Wednesday's performance and gave it solid reviews. C Vladislav Namestnikov, jokingly dubbed the "Russian Bieber" on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show in October, fittingly went wearing a Bieber shirt.

"I like his music," RW Jonathan Marchessault, 25, said. "His new album is pretty good. He's one of the (stars) of our generation."

Contact Joe Smith at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

Comments
Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning

Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning

TAMPA — A local TV crew set up shop in front of Brayden Point’s locker stall the other day, waiting for the Lightning forward to be ready.Then, captain Steven Stamkos walked into the room for his scrum. It didn’t take long for the TV crew to change c...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning pummels Stars for fifth straight win

Lightning pummels Stars for fifth straight win

TAMPA — The Lightning welcomed Ben Bishop back with a classy, fitting video tribute in Thursday’s first period. The sellout crowd of 19,092 at Amalie Arena gave Bishop, the greatest goalie in franchise history, a standing ovation. It was an emotional...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Lightning journal: Specials teams in the spotlight vs. Stars

Lightning journal: Specials teams in the spotlight vs. Stars

TAMPA — C Braydon Point’s shorthanded goal tipped the game in the Lightning’s favor and the three penalties it killed during the second period kept it that way in Thursday’s 6-1 victory against the Stars.Dallas entered the game with an NHL-best 30.2 ...
Published: 11/16/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Stars game

There was a classy, fitting video tribute to former Lightning goalie Ben Bishop in the first period. Think of all the moments in his five seasons in Tampa Bay. It had to be emotional for Bishop, who calls Tampa his second home. He touched his heart a...
Published: 11/16/17
Lightning vs. Stars vs. Bishop vs. No. 1 PP in NHL

Lightning vs. Stars vs. Bishop vs. No. 1 PP in NHL

Stars’ G Ben Bishop returns to Amalie Arena tonight for the first time since his last home game as a Lightning, which came before last season’s trade deadline.The teacher vs. the pupil (Lightning G Andrei Vasilevskiy) is one story line.He...
Published: 11/16/17
Lightning hold ‘Military Appreciation Night’ tonight

Lightning hold ‘Military Appreciation Night’ tonight

The Lightning will wear special camouflaged jerseys during pregame warmups tonight as part of "Military Appreciation Night."The jerseys include a nametag of an honorary service man or woman who will be present during the warmups, either on the team b...
Published: 11/16/17
Rick and Tom podcast: The hottest team in sports plays in Tampa Bay

Rick and Tom podcast: The hottest team in sports plays in Tampa Bay

The hottest team in sports plays right here in Tampa Bay, as the Lightning has started the season 14-2-2, goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy leads the NHL in wins, Steven Stamkos leads in points and Nikita Kucherov leads in goals scored. In the latest episode...
Published: 11/16/17
Jones: The goalie who could make us forget Ben Bishop

Jones: The goalie who could make us forget Ben Bishop

TAMPA — Former Lightning goalie Ben Bishop showed up at Amalie Arena on Wednesday.So how’s the big guy doing?Don’t know. Don’t care.Sorry, that’s wasn’t meant to be mean. Bishop is a great goalie, a good guy and a class act. He helped turn the Lightn...
Published: 11/15/17
Lightning Strikes podcast: Ben Bishop vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy

Lightning Strikes podcast: Ben Bishop vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy

In our latest Lightning Strikes! podcast, Joe Smith and Tom Jones discuss Ben Bishop’s return to Tampa, his legacy with the Lightning, and the play of new No. 1 goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.They also talk about the emergence of Vladislav Namestnikov, th...
Published: 11/15/17
The net that used to belong to Ben Bishop is in good hands with Andrei Vasilevskiy

The net that used to belong to Ben Bishop is in good hands with Andrei Vasilevskiy

TAMPA — When Andrei Vasilevskiy stares across the Amalie Arena ice tonight, he’ll see his mentor, his "big brother."Vasilevskiy, 23, will also see a little bit of himself. Ben Bishop, 30, the greatest goalie in franchise history, took Vasilevskiy und...
Published: 11/15/17