The Lightning announced that it reassigned goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to Syracuse on Wednesday, a day after he made his third career start in a 4-3 win over the Penguins....
Right-hander Brandon Gomes accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham, the Rays announced Tuesday evening.
The reliever was designated for assignment on Friday to clear room on the 40-man roster for the 11-player, three-team trade that sent Wil Myers to San Diego.
Gomes appeared in 29 games for the Rays last season, posting a 2-2 record and a 3.71 ERA. He also played in 27 games for Durham....
12/23/14 Lightning Strikes
TAMPA — The Lightning bailed itself out of its offensive rut Tuesday night thanks to a speedy forward still recovering from the flu.
Tyler Johnson scored his second career hat trick to give the Lightning a 4-3 win over the Penguins in front of a sold-out crowd of 19,204 at Amalie Arena.
"Happy holidays, right?" Johnson said.
The three-day Christmas break will certainly be happier thanks to Johnson and his line, which was responsible for all four goals to help the Lightning (21-11-4) earn its third win in the past nine games and snap a 10-game losing streak to the Penguins....
12/23/14 Lightning Strikes
TAMPA — Lightning coach Jon Cooper didn't feel too bad about facing a shorthanded Penguins team Tuesday night.
With three more players being tested for the mumps and Blake Comeau out after injuring himself Monday, Pittsburgh's total of injured/sick players stood at 12 Tuesday. Forward Dominik Uher became the sixth Penguin to make his NHL debut this month alone when he was recalled from the minors before Tuesday's game....
TAMPA – The Lightning will be without goalie Ben Bishop and defenseman Jason Garrison tonight because of injuries....
12/22/14 Lightning Strikes
BRANDON — The Lightning doesn't seem interested in a history lesson as it prepares to host the Penguins tonight.
Tampa Bay has lost its past 10 games to Pittsburgh, dating to November 2011. Pittsburgh has scored at least four regulation goals in eight of those games, including the Lightning's 4-2 road loss last week.
"That's the only game that I really care about," forward Brian Boyle said....
12/22/14 Lightning Strikes
Lightning vs. Penguins
When/where: 7:30, Amalie Arena
TV/radio: Sun Sports; 970-AM
Key stats: The Lightning is coming off of a five-game road trip that featured four losses. … Pittsburgh is third in the league in scoring (3.1 goals per game) and third in goals against (2.2). The Penguins entered Monday on a three-game winning streak that began with last week's 4-2 win over the Lightning. … Penguins G Marc-Andre Fleury has stopped 74 of 75 shots in his last two games. … Pittsburgh continues to deal with concerns over the mumps, and three players are scheduled to be tested for the illness. … Lightning rookie Jonathan Drouin has two assists and a goal over the last four games....
A day after Florida State star quarterback Jameis Winston was cleared of four university conduct code violations related to sexual assault allegations, the conversation shifted.
Instead of discussing whether the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner will remain on the field in the Rose Bowl against Oregon, the aftermath centered on how difficult the experience has been on Winston and the woman who accused him of rape....
Here's a timeline of what has happened since news broke in November 2013 that Florida State star quarterback Jameis Winston was a suspect in a sexual assault. Information compiled through police accounts, statements from attorneys, the State Attorney's Office and media reports from the Associated Press, ESPN and the Tallahassee Democrat:
DEC. 7, 2012
A woman is offered a shot of alcohol by an unknown person at a Tallahassee bar before leaving in a cab, according to the Tallahassee Police Department. She claims to have been assaulted at an apartment between 1:30 and 2 a.m. FSU police get a call and refer the off-campus incident case to Tallahassee police, who arrive at 4:10 a.m. The woman is interviewed, and evidence is collected using a rape kit. The police begin investigating and ask an assistant state attorney to help obtain phone records....
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was cleared of four university conduct violations Sunday after a retired judge determined that 2-year-old sexual assault allegations amounted to a convoluted he-said, she-said case.
Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Major Harding wrote that Winston and his accuser provided contradictory stories of their December 2012 sexual encounter. Neither story was "substantially stronger" than the other...
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Seahawks at Cardinals, 8:15, Ch. 8 | Seahawks by 7½, 36½
Arizona needs a win to clinch the NFC West and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. To do so, the Cardinals will need a solid performance from their revolving door at quarterback. Ryan Lindley is expected to make his first start in two years today, although the Cardinals said they could sprinkle rookie Logan Thomas into the game plan. Even if they're enough to get Arizona past Seattle and one of the league's top defenses, it's hard to see them carrying the Cardinals to the Super Bowl. Matt Baker's pick: Seahawks, 17-14...
Today's Falcons-Saints game certainly has some of the intensity worthy of a game that could decide who wins the NFC South.
Saints safety Keenan Lewis went so far as to tell reporters, "We're definitely going to give them their funeral."
That might be a fitting end, given the way the rest of the league has treated the NFC South this season.
New Orleans (6-8) eliminates Atlanta (5-9) from the playoff picture with a victory. If Carolina (5-8-1) loses, too, the Saints win the division....
SCOUTING NFC SOUTH
As bad as the Falcons' defense has been, CB Desmond Trufant (right) has had a solid year in the secondary. He ranks in the top 10 in the league with 14 passes defensed, which is enough to make him a Pro Bowl player, according to the advanced metrics site Pro Football Focus.
Unfortunately for Trufant, he has done so on a struggling defense that faces Drew Brees and the Saints this week. Trufant's Falcons are last in the league in passing yards allowed (4,095), sacks (16) and yards per pass (8.3)....
TAMPA — When the Bucs talked before the season about reclaiming homefield advantage at Raymond James Stadium, games like Sunday's weren't what they had in mind.
"You like when the home team does something well to hear cheers and not boos," defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said.
But a large, noisy Packers contingent is expected among the sold-out crowd at the Bucs' home game Sunday....