Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Scoring slump bothers Lightning's Callahan

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan (24) hearts San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones (31) to score the first goal of the game during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Tuesday evening (02/16/16).

DIRK SHADD | Times

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan (24) hearts San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones (31) to score the first goal of the game during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Tuesday evening (02/16/16).

TAMPA — You'd wonder if RW Ryan Callahan's goal Tuesday against San Jose lifted a weight off the veteran's shoulders.

It certainly looks like it. After snapping an 18-game goal drought with just his third goal in 48 games, Callahan followed that up with a two-assist performance Thursday. Callahan also added a shootout goal in the 6-5 victory, his first multi-point game since Dec. 10.

Though Callahan has been playing well in other areas, including leading the Lightning in hits, he said the scoring slump has weighed on him.

Callahan, a four-time 20-plus-goal scorer, has six.

"There's no question I needed to produce more and find the back of the net," Callahan said. "I've had plenty of chances throughout this stretch, and for whatever reason they haven't been going in. You always hope one like (Tuesday's goal) can get you going."

Callahan entered Thursday fourth on the Lightning in shots on goal, behind C Steven Stamkos, RW Nikita Kucherov and D Victor Hedman. Callahan scored 10 of his 24 goals last season on the power play, but he has just one with the man advantage this season, though he's often on the first unit.

Coaches rave about Callahan's consistent effort and energy, and his work on the forecheck and penalty kill, not to mention his leadership as an alternate captain. But Callahan entered Thursday with 18 points in 55 games and minus-8.

Callahan was moved back to the top line Tuesday with Stamkos, combining for five points Thursday.

"You always say you worry when you don't have chances," Callahan said. "But at the end of the day, you've got to start burying some of them, too.

"It's a big part of my game. I've always been a guy who can put the puck in the net, so when it's not going in for you, it definitely bothers you."

MEDICAL MATTERS: C Vladislav Namestnikov missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury, suffered Sunday against St. Louis. Namestnikov did practice Wednesday and skate Thursday morning.

"He's sore," coach Jon Cooper said. "I don't think it's a long-term thing. We're just throwing a little caution to the wind here with him, and hopefully we'll see him this weekend."

FLU SHOT: LW Ondrej Palat is the latest Lightning player to get the flu, though he played Thursday.

D Anton Stralman, C Valtteri Filppula, Namestnikov had their bouts with the illness in recent weeks, but no player has missed a game due to it.

"It's a tough time on our team because it's just picking guys off one by one," Cooper said. "It's not one where you can't play through these."

TRADE WINDS: The Red Wings had a few representatives in attendance Thursday, including director of pro scouting Mark Howe. A Kings scout has followed the Lightning in its latest homestand. There were also reps from Chicago, Columbus, Boston and San Jose.

NUTS AND BOLTS: G Andrei Vasilevskiy started Thursday. Cooper said that had been planned for weeks. … RW Erik Condra was a healthy scratch.

Scoring slump bothers Lightning's Callahan 02/18/16 [Last modified: Friday, February 19, 2016 12:26am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Crosstown rivals Bloomingdale-Newsome kick off season

    Footballpreps

    LITHIA — In a week filled with area football rivalries, there is a game on the east side of Hillsborough County — Bloomingdale vs. Newsome — that has matured into a classic crosstown battle, complete with classic cliches.

    Bloomingdale wide receiver Ed Amos charges through a drill a few days before the big rivalry game against Newsome on Friday night.
  2. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Several key players still sidelined

    Bucs

    Greg Auman gives an injury update, with several key players still sidelined from practice three days before the Bucs play the Cleveland Browns in Tampa, and a full recap of your favorite scenes from Tuesday …

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans was held out of practice Wednesday at One Buc Place. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  3. Playoff ambitions evident in opener for Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch

    Footballpreps

    WESLEY CHAPEL — A new football season in Pasco County begins Friday night, but this one promises to be like none before it — with more math than ever. A new playoff system emphasizes schedule strength, making non-district tilts particularly important.

    Wiregrass Ranch wide receiver Jordan Miner catches a pass in spring practice at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel on Monday, May 1, 2017.
  4. Dirk Koetter says Bucs used team meeting to discuss social issues

    Bucs

    Four days before their preseason home opener against the Cleveland Browns, which had 12 players not stand for the national anthem prior to their last game, the Bucs used their team meeting to discuss social issues that might have led to that demonstration, coach Dirk Koetter said.

    "The main thing is we have to respect everybody's opinion," Dirk Koetter said, "because everybody is not going to agree." [AP photo]
  5. Rookie tight end Antony Auclair making case to stick with Bucs

    Bucs

    Don't let his modest preseason stats fool you: Antony Auclair, the undrafted rookie tight end from Canada is making a strong case to stick around on the Bucs' 53-man roster this season.

    Bucs tight end Antony Auclair (82) collides with a defender following a catch during training camp. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]