Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Jonathan Drouin on track to return on trip

TAMPA — Lightning F Jonathan Drouin took another step toward his return Saturday when he participated in the morning skate.

It was the first time he skated with his teammates since taking a hit to the head Nov. 1 against the Islanders in New York.

Coach Jon Cooper said Drouin was expected to rejoin the team during its five-game road trip that begins Monday against the Islanders.

"I don't have any updates now, but hopefully, on the road, he's going to jump in," Cooper said.

"I couldn't tell you if it's the first game or the fifth game, but he's coming with us."

Drouin hasn't played since being injured. He missed his fifth straight game Saturday when the Lightning lost 3-1 to the visiting Sharks.

When asked if he suffered a concussion, Drouin said, "Hard to say. … Upper-body (injury)."

When asked what he thought of the hit by Islanders D Calvin de Haan, Drouin said, "I thought I just leaned in and put myself in a vulnerable spot a little bit. I hold no grudge. He finished his check. It's fine."

Drouin, wearing a gray jersey Saturday, took part in every drill with his teammates.

"It's been going better every day, so that's pretty much it," he said. "Not much to say about it."

Going on the trip will be the final step, though Drouin remained cautious.

"It's hard to say if I'm going to be playing on the road trip," he said, "but just going on the road trip is a good sign."

Drouin had two goals and five points in the first 10 games. He controlled the puck well and displayed his play-making skills, picking up where he left off during last year's playoffs. He also showed improvement on defense.

"He's a big part of the team. He's very talented," F Ryan Callahan said. "He's one of our top guys, so when he's in the lineup, we're better."

STRALMAN INJURed: D Anton Stralman left the game with an upper-body injury 14:06 into the third period.

Stralman took a slap shot from the left circle, then doubled over and fell onto the ice. The shot was blocked by San Jose F Joe Thornton and ended up in the protective netting. Stralman was attended to on the ice, skated off and headed to the trainer's room.

"Something happened," Cooper said. "It's not head related. That has nothing to do with it."

Stralman did not practice Wednesday or Friday for what was termed body maintenance. He did not participate in the optional morning skates Thursday and Saturday.

NUTS AND BOLTS: G Ben Bishop stopped a penalty shot in the first period, stuffing an attempt by F Joonas Donskoi. Donskoi was hooked on a breakaway by D Andrej Sustr. … The Lightning wore all-black uniforms for the first time this season. …D Nikita Nesterov was a healthy scratch for the fifth time in the past six games.

Comments
Could Detroit’s Mike Green be next domino to fall at deadline?

Could Detroit’s Mike Green be next domino to fall at deadline?

The Red Wings have started wheeling and dealing, shipping goalie Petr Mrazek to the Flyers for a package of conditional draft picks.That has shifted focus to a potential Lightning target, Red Wings defenseman Mike Green, who is expected to be moved b...
Published: 02/20/18
Trade rumors can weigh on NHL players as deadline approaches

Trade rumors can weigh on NHL players as deadline approaches

WASHINGTON — Tyler Johnson was as good as gone.Or so it seemed.The scuttlebutt around last year's trade deadline was that the Lightning center could be the piece headed elsewhere to land a top-four defenseman. Maybe Nashville? St. Louis?Then th...
Published: 02/19/18
Better ‘D’ starts at home with Lightning

Better ‘D’ starts at home with Lightning

TAMPA – The Lightning still might land that top tier defenseman it certainly needs by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. But if that player was wearing a Tampa Bay sweater Saturday, would the outcome against the Devils have been any different?The Ligh...
Published: 02/19/18
Rumor mill: What Lightning might do at trade deadline

Rumor mill: What Lightning might do at trade deadline

Reports and rumors involving the Lightning leading up to the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 26:Feb. 17A smaller move could pay big dividendsIf you look at the history of recent Stanley Cup champions, their pivotal moves were subtle, not splashy, the Time...
Published: 02/19/18
Devils’ Wood gets 2 games for boarding Namestnikov

Devils’ Wood gets 2 games for boarding Namestnikov

Devils forward Miles Wood was suspended two games without pay for his boarding penalty Saturday night against Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov during the second period of the Devils 4-3 victory.The hit knocked Namestnikov into the boards ...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/19/18
Flashy trades not always the smartest moves

Flashy trades not always the smartest moves

TAMPA — When it comes to the trade deadline, everyone wants the big names. They dream of blockbusters.Lightning fans would love Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson or Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Maybe even Rangers wing Rick Nash.But if you ...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Dotchin working on ‘inconsistencies’

Dotchin working on ‘inconsistencies’

TAMPA — Lightning D Jake Dotchin was scratched Saturday against the Devils, making it the fifth time in six games that he did not play."Obviously the playing time is down a bit," Dotchin said after the morning skate. "I just got to keep working...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Winter Olympics: Americans had brawn. Russians had more goals.

Winter Olympics: Americans had brawn. Russians had more goals.

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — It was a game for Cold War nostalgia and present-day geopolitical angst, for feisty, post-whistle scraps in the corners and for cheap jokes on Twitter. It was a game drenched in history at the start and simmering with ill fee...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Emphasis on ‘D’ continues as Lightning face Devils

Emphasis on ‘D’ continues as Lightning face Devils

The emphasis was on defense during Friday's practice and today's morning skate as the Lightning look to reduce not only the number of shots on goal allowed but also scoring chances. It allowed 39 in Thursday's win against the Red Wings and 33 in Thu...
Published: 02/17/18
Lightning falls to Devils

Lightning falls to Devils

TAMPA — The Lightning took enough shots to win Saturday’s game against the Devils. It scored enough goals to win, too. Problem was, the Lightning made enough mistakes to lose."There were a lot of positives," captain Steven Stamkos said, "but they sco...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18