Eduardo A. Encina - Lightning Reporter

Lightning Reporter

I’m back for my second stint at the Tampa Bay Times. You may recognize my byline from back in the day when I covered the Rays, Lightning and high school sports. After seven years working in my hometown of Baltimore as the lead Orioles writer at The Baltimore Sun, I’m back covering the Lightning. If you have a story idea, email me, tweet me or send me a three-eyed raven. When I’m not working, I’m likely outside hiking (preferably out of cell-phone range), getting charged by a mountain goat, Instagramming my food, plotting my second career as an astronaut or taking hacks at the nearest indoor batting cage.

  1. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper will serve as a guest analyst during TNT’s broadcast of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final between the Panthers and Hurricanes.
  2. Lightning defenseman Darren Raddysh (43) celebrates his second-period goal against the Maple Leafs in Game 3 of the postseason's first round.
  3. Inserted into the lineup to give the Lightning more jump, Mikey Eyssimont scored a go-ahead goal and added an assist in a Game 5 victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
  4. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos talks with reporters after the team's season-ending loss to the Maple Leafs Saturday at Amalie Arena. “I wish it wasn’t a full offseason,” Stamkos said. “But when you look at it, it is going to be beneficial for our group, for sure."
  5. Lightning team captain Steven Stamkos talks with reporters at the team's season-ending media availability Tuesday at Amalie Arena.
  6. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy speaks with reporters Tuesday at Amalie Arena. He said he pushed himself too hard this season and didn't pay enough attention to recovery, something the longer offseason will allow him to do.
  7. Left wing Alex Killorn, who will become an unrestricted free agent, speaks with reporters Tuesday at Amalie Arena. He said he definitely wants to return to the Lightning: "I love playing here. I love everything about Tampa."
  8. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stands at the net as the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate their 2-1 win in overtime of Game 6 of their opening-rounds series Saturday at Amalie Areana.
  9. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88), center, along with defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) left, and defenseman Darren Raddysh (43) look on after Maple Leafs center John Tavares scores the series-clinching goal in overtime Saturday night.
  10. Lightning center Brayden Point (21) celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal during overtime of Game 6 during the 2022 series against the Maple Leafs in Tampa.
  11. Lightning forward Nick Paul (20) celebrates his goal with forward Michael Eyssimont (23), next to Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Aston-Reese (12) during the third period of Game 5 Thursday in Toronto.
  12. Maple Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn (2) and Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli (71) vie for the puck during the first period of Game 5 on Thursday night in Toronto.
  13. With his team trying to stay alive in hostile territory, Lightning coach Jon Cooper says "there can be times where the home crowd can be a bit of a disadvantage."
  14. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is missing some of the protection in front of the net he enjoyed in the past, partly due to offseason moves and partly due to injury.
  15. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) is beaten for the game-winner as center Brayden Point (21) looks on during overtime of Game 4 Monday at Amalie Arena.
  16. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy looks on as Maple Leafs left wing Matthew Knies (23) celebrates center Alexander Kerfoot's (15) winning goal during overtime on Monday night in Tampa.
  17. Lightning defenseman Nick Perbix (48), goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) and center Brayden Point (21) look on as the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate their winning goal in overtime of Game 3 Saturday at Amalie Arena.
  18. Lightning center Brayden Point (21) pounces on a rebound as Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov (35) tries to cover the puck during the second period of Game 3 Saturday at Amalie Arena.
  19. Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) leaves the ice after fighting during Auston Matthews during the third period of Game 3 Saturday at Amalie Arena.
  20. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos fights with Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) moments after Brayden Point was leveled during the third period of Game 3 on Saturday night in Tampa.
  21. Victor Hedman, who exited Game 1 win after just one period and was scratched for Game 2, was a full participant in this morning’s full-team skate at Amalie Arena and could play tonight in Game 3.
  22. The Lightning were a different team after center Brayden Point was injured during Game 7 of last season's first-round series against the Maple Leafs.
  23. Maple Leafs forward John Tavares (91) scores the second goal of his hat trick against Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy during the second period of Game 2 in Toronto on Thursday night.