Saturday, November 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Stamkos cleared to play Thursday against Sabres

TAMPA — Steven Stamkos said he expected to have some trouble sleeping Wednesday night.

"I'm excited, a little anxious, a little nervous all in one," he said.

That is because the Lightning's star center, after missing 45 games with a broken right tibia, has been cleared to play and will be in the lineup tonight against the Sabres at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

"There's going to be some anxiousness and some nerves for sure," Stamkos said. "I'm not going to come in here and expect to be where I was before the injury. That's not realistic."

Stamkos, who was injured Nov. 11 at Boston when he slid into a goalpost and later had a titanium rod inserted into the bone to facilitate healing, said all the tests show the right leg is as stable and as strong as the left.

That's not to say he won't wonder how it will react.

"It's going to be by getting hit, taking a hit, giving a hit. Those are the things that will be going through my mind for sure," Stamkos said. "But after the first couple of shifts, I think it will be fine."

The Lightning, which has lost seven of its past 10 games and is 9-10-1 since Jan. 5, can certainly use Stamkos, a former 60-goal scorer who had 14 goals in 17 games before he was injured.

In those 17 games, Tampa Bay averaged 3.1 goals. In the 45 he missed, it averaged 2.6.

"We feel we made the best acquisition of this trade deadline," defenseman Victor Hedman said. "Getting Stammer back in the lineup is going to help us tremendously."

And with Lightning captain Marty St. Louis traded to the Rangers, the locker room will benefit from another strong, confident voice.

Stamkos, an alternate captain, said Wednesday afternoon that no one had approached him about being captain and that "it doesn't really matter right now."

But Stamkos also said he is ready to assume a bigger leadership role.

"I'm going to utilize all the skills Marty has taught me over the years," Stamkos, 24, said. "He's taught me a lot of things, and he's taught a lot of guys a lot of things. We learn from that and get stronger as a team. That's the only way we can get through this."

MINOR MOVES: The Lightning traded minor-league forward Dana Tyrell and defenseman Matt Taormina to the Blue Jackets for minor-league left wings Dalton Smith, 21, and Jonathan Marchessault, 23, who had 14 goals, 41 points in 56 games for AHL Springfield.

Tampa Bay also recalled right wing Richard Panik from AHL Syracuse and reassigned Vlad Namestnikov to the Crunch.

Comments
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy out four to six weeks with broken foot

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy out four to six weeks with broken foot

Andrei Vasilevskiy fractured his left foot in practice on Wednesday.
Updated: 11 hours ago
More superlatives for the Lightning’s Brayden Point

More superlatives for the Lightning’s Brayden Point

Brayden Point scored his first NHL hat trick on Thursday, and he did it in 91 seconds. Here's where it ranked in a few categories:• Sixth-fastest in NHL history (Bill Mosienko, Chicago, 21 seconds)• Second-fastest in the expansion era (De...
Published: 11/16/18
Seven former Lightning goalies make The Hockey News’ list of the top 100 of all-time

Seven former Lightning goalies make The Hockey News’ list of the top 100 of all-time

Not bad for a franchise that only recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Published: 11/16/18
Lightning journal: Brayden Point scores hat trick in 91 seconds in win over Penguins

Lightning journal: Brayden Point scores hat trick in 91 seconds in win over Penguins

Brayden Point 's hat trick is the sixth fastest in NHL history.
Published: 11/15/18
Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy out indefinitely with injury

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy out indefinitely with injury

With Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy out, Louis Domingue will get the chance for some sustained time in the crease.
Published: 11/15/18
Lightning pre-game: Get to know the Penguins

Lightning pre-game: Get to know the Penguins

Here's what you need to know ahead of the Lightning's matchup against the Penguins.
Published: 11/15/18
NHL taste is a ‘dream come true’ for Lightning’s Erik Cernak

NHL taste is a ‘dream come true’ for Lightning’s Erik Cernak

What does a prospect’s first call up to the NHL look like?
Published: 11/14/18
Bounces work against Lightning in loss to Sabres

Bounces work against Lightning in loss to Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. — It looked like a beautiful chance. Steven Stamkos got the puck in the final minute, faked a shot and slid it over to Nikita Kucherov. Kucherov fired off the shot they wanted for him … and the puck hit the post."I made the ...
Published: 11/13/18
Lightning enjoys chance to share Marty St. Louis’ Hall of Fame induction

Lightning enjoys chance to share Marty St. Louis’ Hall of Fame induction

Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman spearhead large Lightning contingent's trip to Hockey Hall of Fame induction
Published: 11/13/18
Lightning pre-game: Get to know the Buffalo Sabres

Lightning pre-game: Get to know the Buffalo Sabres

The Lightning's on the road for the next week, starting with a game tonight against Buffalo at 7:30 p.m.It's the 99th game all-time between the Sabres and Lightning. The Sabres will look to improve on their all-time home record of 25-18-5 agains...
Published: 11/13/18