Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Return to Ottawa finds Lightning's Condra in a different spot

BRANDON — When the Lightning takes on the Senators tonight, it will be a homecoming of sorts for forward Erik Condra. It will be his first trip to Ottawa to face the team that drafted him since he left in free agency in July.

"Playing in a rink you played in on the other side for five or six years (and) seeing old teammates and buddies, I'm excited about it," said Condra, 29, taken in the seventh round in 2011. "I enjoyed my time there. It wasn't like they didn't offer anything (to re-sign him). It was a little disappointing, but I was excited to be signed down here."

When Condra and the Senators couldn't agree to terms, Tampa Bay swooped in and gave him a three-year contract. And though Condra hasn't had the season he expected, the Lightning is glad to have the 334-game veteran (299 with Ottawa) who provides versatility.

"That's one thing about having a team is everybody understanding his role," coach Jon Cooper said. "Erik knows his role. Another good thing about Erik is he can play up and down the lineup. He's filled in on the power play for us in important situations; he's played on almost every line. He exemplifies team, and that's why he's a good fit for us."

Condra has been up and down, and in and out of the lineup. He has played in 35 games and has three goals and six points.

"I'm sure when he signed here, he was hoping to play all 82 games," Cooper said. "We signed him for a reason. We signed him because he's a reliable veteran who's outstanding in the room. He brings leadership. He brings poise. He brings knowledge on the bench. When he's asked to play his anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, he gives you everything he has.

"That's one thing about having a team is everybody understanding his role. Erik knows his role."

Condra isn't getting the time he got in Ottawa. One of the Senators' top penalty killers, Condra is averaging a little more than 11 minutes of ice time with the Lightning. Still, the veteran patiently waits until his number is called.

"It's being a pro and just being ready," Condra said. "Sometimes things don't always go your way. You have to work hard to make sure you put yourself in the best position so when you're called, you're ready."

Comments
Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

The Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday night still featured the usual post-game music in the dressing room.But there was more of a somber tone with veteran right wing Ryan Callahan's right arm in a sling. Callahan, who got hurt on a na...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. — As much as the Lightning has been rolling, it remembered how it lost twice last season to the Coyotes.That included blowing a one-goal third-period lead at home down the stretch, with Tampa Bay missing the playoffs by a point."You l...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the dynamic Lightning defenseman. They both were top 10 picks in 2016, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in th...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the Lightning defenseman.They both were picked in the top-10 of the 2016 NHL Draft, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in three w...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Published: 12/14/17
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...
Published: 12/13/17
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