Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Olympic roundup: Switzerland, Slovenia, Sweden win

SOCHI, Russia — Although Switzerland has scored just two goals in three games at the Olympics, Jonas Hiller hasn't allowed any — not even to Jaromir Jagr on his 42nd birthday.

That's why the Swiss are heading into the elimination round with two victories and the confidence they can beat anybody.

The Ducks' Hiller made 26 saves in his second Olympic shutout and Switzerland beat the Czech Republic 1-0 Saturday in the teams' final preliminary-round game.

Hiller has stopped all 47 shots he has faced over two games. His brilliance and his teammates' defense allowed Switzerland to win two of its three games despite scoring just two goals. "Everybody is doing an unbelievable job in our own end," Hiller said. "Same time, I really hope at some point we find a way to score more than just one goal a game."

The Czechs finished the preliminary round 1-2. The Devils' Jagr couldn't beat Hiller after scoring in each of the Czechs' first two games.

Slovenia stuns Slovakia: The Kings' Anze Kopitar scored the third of three Slovenian goals in six minutes of the third period and Slovenia, in its first Olympics, got its first win, 3-1 over Slovakia. "I'm kind of speechless," said Kopitar, the only NHL player on Slovenia's roster. Slovakia, 0-2 heading into its final preliminary-round game today against Russia, has 12 NHL players, including Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa. "It's hard to lose a game like this," he said. Slovenia (1-1) ends its preliminary round today against the United States.

Swedes survive scare: Down 2-1 to Latvia, Sweden scored three straight power-play goals and ended with a 5-3 win to finish the preliminary round 3-0, win its group and get a bye into the quarterfinals Wednesday. The Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist had 20 saves. Kristers Gudlevskis, of Lightning AHL affiliate Syracuse, had 25 for Latvia, which has one current NHL player, Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons. It finished preliminary play 0-3.

Women's semis set: Sweden beat defending bronze medalist Finland 4-2 in the quarterfinals, a reversal of the result from the 2010 third-place game, and plays the United States in the semi­finals Monday. Switzerland beat Russia 2-0 and faces Canada.

Comments
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...
Updated: 9 hours ago
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
Lightning journal: Power-play players make me look good, Jon Cooper says

Lightning journal: Power-play players make me look good, Jon Cooper says

TAMPA — How about that Lightning power play."Coaching," coach Jon Cooper said before Saturday’s game with the Jets.He was kidding."You always look like a good coach when you can throw (Nikita) Kucherov and (Steven) Stamkos and (Victor) Hedman over th...
Published: 12/09/17