Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

YouTube sensation Sebastien Caron about to get first start for Tampa Bay Lightning

PHILADELPHIA — If you want a sense of how Sebastien Caron, the Lightning's newest goaltender, does his job, go to YouTube and search "best goalie saves."

Scroll to a video from Canada's TSN sports TV network that showcases what it believes are the top 10 saves of all time in the NHL. Caron is the only goalie featured twice, at No. 7 and No. 1.

"People talk about it," Caron said. "It's nice to get recognized for that, but, well, it's just fun."

But not unusual, said Lightning left wing Ryan Malone, who played with Caron from 2003-06 with the Penguins.

"I can probably think of about a dozen he stopped when it seemed like the other team had an empty net," Malone said. "Probably once a game he would make an unbelievable paddle save. I don't know if he's still got that in his bag or not."

We will find out.

With Tampa Bay playing back-to-back games tonight against the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center and Tuesday in Boston, Caron likely starts one.

For the Amqui, Quebec, native, it is a happy return to the NHL after five seasons in Switzerland, Russia and Germany.

Signed March 19 to a one-year prorated contract after the season-ending groin injury to Mathieu Garon and the Lightning's failed experiment with AHL Norfolk's Dustin Tokarski, Caron, 31, is along for a ride he hopes leads to a permanent gig somewhere in the NHL.

"It's kind of like a tryout," he said. "We'll see what happens. It could go one way, or it could go wrong, but I'll do my best. I'm going to have a blast."

That was difficult from 2002-06, when he played 90 of his 92 NHL games for a struggling Penguins franchise. And Caron was in net in November 2003 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum for a 9-0 Lightning rout in which he allowed eight goals.

He is athletic, though.

"He's a springy kind of guy who can stretch to make those saves when he's down and out," Tampa Bay goaltenders coach Frantz Jean said. "That's a big asset at this level."

And that brings us back to TSN's top 10. No. 7 was against the Canadiens in December 2003, when Caron dove to the front of the net to make a paddle save on Mike Ribeiro.

That's memorable, but it's nothing compared to the No. 1 save, from October 2005 against the Flyers.

Caron was beaten to the right by a shot that hit the post and ricocheted underneath him to Philadelphia's Brian Savage, who shot at an open net. Caron twisted to the left, reached back and gloved the puck just before it crossed the goal line.

"I remember thinking that was a for-sure goal," Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby recalled last week. "Just his hand coming out of nowhere, somehow he got his glove on it."

"You can see my reaction," Savage told TSN. "I couldn't believe he reached back that way."

But that's Caron, Crosby said: "He relies on reflexes, and he's not going to give up on a play."

Or on an NHL career, now that he has another chance.

"I told myself if I was ever going to give it another shot, I would be more ready for it, and I think I am," said Caron, who was 25-23-0 this season for Iserlohn in Germany with a 2.57 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.

"Now I'm more laid back. I go with the flow. I'm just going to enjoy my time here and do my best and try to do a show."

. Tonight

Lightning at Flyers

When/where: 7:30; Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

TV/radio: NBC Sports Network; 970-AM

Key stats: The Lightning's 27 road points (11-19-5) are fewest in the Eastern Conference and second fewest in the league. … Flyers G Ilya Bryzgalov is on a 10-1-1 streak with a 1.22 goals-against average and .957 save percentage. … Tampa Bay's one short-handed goal is a league low. … Flyers RW Claude Giroux leads the league with 36 power play points, and LW Scott Hartnell is tied for the league lead with 15 power play goals. … Philadelphia has killed 36 of its past 39 penalties. … Since his February trade, former Lightning D Pavel Kubina has two assists and is plus-1 in 10 games for the Flyers while averaging 18:10 of ice time.

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: 7 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: 9 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: 11 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