Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pyatt returns to Lightning after long layoff

TAMPA — It had been so long since Tom Pyatt played, and it was such a short stint, that the Lightning forward said Saturday's game with the Hurricanes seemed like it was his first game of the season.

"It's been a while," he said before the game. "I'm just going to go out there and have fun and not overthink it; just make the reads and have fun on it."

Pyatt missed 32 games with a broken collarbone sustained Oct. 8 at Buffalo. He played just 13 minutes, 15 seconds that game, his first of the season, before getting crunched into the side boards in the third period by Marcus Foligno.

Pyatt expected to be cleared for the Dec. 3 game at Columbus, but a CT scan showed a gap where the bone had not healed. He was out more than 10 weeks.

"He can play the middle, which is something we've been lacking since (Steven Stamkos) went down, so it gives us another option there," coach Jon Cooper said. "You need a guy to jump in the power play. You need a guy to jump in the PK. He can do it all. And he's got some speed out there, so he's going to help out with our attack."

In 8:32 of ice time Saturday (including 34 seconds on the penalty kill), he was minus-1 with four shots and went 2-of-8 on faceoffs.

For Pyatt, who had eight goals, 16 points in 43 games last season, the key was keeping his enthusiasm in check — "I'll have to tell myself to slow down the first couple of shifts," he said — and be aware of his conditioning.

"After a few games, I'll be right where I want to be," he said. "I just want to come in and help the team out.

"The guys have been playing unreal. It's been fun to watch. I want to join in and be a big part of it."

BREWER HURT: D Eric Brewer left Saturday's game in the second period with an upper-body injury. Cooper said he does not believe it is serious.

MORE MEDICAL MATTERS: Of the Lightning's other injured players — Stamkos (broken leg), D Keith Aulie (broken hand), LW Ryan Malone (ankle) and D Brian Lee (knee) — Malone is closest to returning, though Cooper said that is not expected until after the new year.

SHOTS APLENTY: The Lightning registered 50 shots on goal for the fifth time in its history. The record is 52 set at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Nov. 18, 2011, in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Panthers. Tampa Bay's 19 first-period shots were the most in a period this season.

GOOD DEEDS: The Lightning named its 100th Community Hero: Patricia McGuigan of North Tampa, who received a $50,000 grant from the Lightning Foundation and Community Heros Program. She will donate the money to The Spring and LifePath Hospice, the team said.

Tampa Bay owner Jeff Vinik and wife Penny began the Community Heroes Program last season to distribute $10 million over five years. So far, $5 million has been distributed.

ODDS AND ENDS: The Lightning is 14-3-1 at home and 9-2-1 in overtime or shootout games. … Tampa Bay is 10-3-3 in one-goal games. … The Hurricanes scored their league-best seventh shorthanded goal, all on the road. … The Lightning played with 11 forwards and seven defensemen. … Forwards B.J. Crombeen and Pierre-Cedric Labrie and D Mark Barberio were scratched.

Pyatt returns to Lightning after long layoff 12/21/13 [Last modified: Sunday, December 22, 2013 12:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' O.J. Howard ends big day with BP, first pitch for Rays


    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard is known for his athleticism at 6-foot-6, 251-pounds. As an outfielder, he took his Autuaga Academy High School baseball team to the state tournament in Alabama as a junior.

    On Monday, after a little instruction from Steven Souza, Jr., the left-handed hitting Howard started making …

  2. Arm problems in the past, USF rides pitching into AAC baseball tournament


    TAMPA — By his second relief inning in last year's season opener, USF right-hander Ryan Valdes had lost the fizz on his fastball.

    USF senior right-hander Ryan Valdes, an Alonso High alumnus, is one of three prominent Bulls pitchers flourishing after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. [USF Athletics]
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick likes Bucs weapons, believes he's a good fit


    Ryan Fitzpatrick’s experience playing for six other NFL teams is what made him attractive to the Bucs as a backup to starter Jameis Winston. But if he has to play, the former Jets quarterback is happy about all the weapons on Tampa Bay’s offense.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick is happy about all the weapons on Tampa Bay’s offense.
  4. For starters: Rays vs. Angels and Trout, with Odorizzi on mound


    After losing Sunday's game but winning a third straight series, the Rays open a four-game series tonight against the Angels and Mike Trout.

    RHP Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays, RHP J.C. Ramirez for the Angels.

    Evan Longoria is getting a DH day, so the Rays have rookie Daniel …

    Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays.
  5. Lightning's Swedes live their dream in Worlds


    You could see it in his face.

    Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman screamed as he hoisted the World Championship trophy Sunday afternoon in Cologne, Germany, and it looked like an exhale that was years in the making. Stralman kissed the forehead of Swedish teammate Joel Lundqvist, the joy unmistakable.

    Victor Hedman of Sweden celebrate with his teammates after scoring the opening goal in the gold-medal game against Canada.