Sunday, February 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Killorn impresses friends, coach

BOSTON — Alex Killorn could not have picked a better time to have the best game of his short NHL career.

In front of what he said was at least 50 friends Saturday, the rookie wing, who spent four years at Harvard in nearby Cambridge, scored a highlight goal in the 3-2 loss to the Bruins, almost got another, had a career-most 19:06 of ice time and earned high praise from coach Guy Boucher.

"Alex Killorn has been terrific for us," Boucher said. "He makes it happen. He pays the price offensively and defensively."

All that after Killorn watched Harvard knock off No. 1 Quinnipiac 2-1 on Friday in overtime. Tommy Mulligan, Tampa Bay's head athletic trainer, is a Quinnipiac grad. "I've been sticking it in his face," Killorn said.

Killorn was in Boston's face the entire game and gave the Lightning a 2-0 first-period lead when he took Teddy Purcell's pass and deked to his backhand to beat G Anton Khudobin.

He tried to make the same play with 4:25 left in the third period and the score 2-2. "I lost the puck, but it kind of caught him on the five hole," said Killorn, who has three goals, six points in 11 games. "I thought it was going to sneak through, but he fell back on it."

Killorn, 23, is moving forward. "The first few games you're really playing on adrenaline," he said. "You work hard and make simple plays. But once you get more comfortable, you make more of the plays you usually make, so I believe I'm coming into that a little bit."

POULIOT HURT: W Ben Pouliot left the game in the first period after being mashed from behind into the end boards by Dennis Seidenberg. Pouliot, with six goals, 14 points in 21 games, wore a sling on his right arm after the game. The team gave no specifics on the injury, and Boucher said he had no idea how long Pouliot might be out.

ON THE DRAW: The Lightning was dominated on faceoffs, losing 37 of 57. It lost 38 of 57 Thursday against the Rangers. And that makes the absence of Adam Hall even more obvious. A healthy scratch in both games, he has won 57.1 percent of his draws. With D Sami Salo injured, Boucher said he needed to play seven defensemen instead of six to spread the added responsibilities, even though Boston is the league's top faceoff team. "If we didn't need seven D's, I would have gone with Adam," Boucher said. "He's not there, so it demands more from other guys."

MORE INJURIES: Salo (lower body) missed his second straight game and LW Ryan Malone (lower body) missed his 11th, though Boucher said both are "really close" to returning. Malone likely will join the team today in Pittsburgh.

ODDS AND ENDS: C Steven Stamkos' goal gave him eight goals, seven assists in a league-best nine-game point streak. … W Marty St. Louis was at Boston University on Friday to watch his alma mater, Vermont, fall 3-1 to the Terriers. … Tyler Seguin's goal was Boston's first at home on the power play. It had been 0-for-26. … Lightning RW Pierre-Cedric Labrie played his first game since a two-week conditioning assignment with AHL Syracuse.

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