Lightning's Yzerman finalist for GM of year (w/video)

The Lightning’s Steve Yzerman is a finalist for NHL general manager of the year for a second time. The first was 2011.
The Lightning’s Steve Yzerman is a finalist for NHL general manager of the year for a second time. The first was 2011.
Published May 23, 2015

TAMPA — The Lightning's Steve Yzerman is one of three finalists for general manager of the year, the league announced Friday.

Yzerman, 50, joins the Rangers' Glen Sather and the Ducks' Bob Murray as finalists. Yzerman, in his sixth year with Tampa Bay, also was a finalist in 2010-11, the last time the team reached the Eastern Conference final.

The Lightning set a franchise record for wins (50) and points (108) this season, buoyed by some key moves Yzerman made during the summer.

He rebuilt the blue line, signing free agent Anton Stralman and acquiring Jason Garrison from the Canucks. He also signed RW Ryan Callahan to a long-term deal and added veterans C Brian Boyle and LW Brenden Morrow in free agency. Yzerman also acquired D Braydon Coburn from the Flyers in a trade-deadline deal.

Voting was conducted among league GMs and a panel of NHL executives, and print and broadcast media after the second round of the playoffs. The winner is announced June 24 during the league's awards show in Las Vegas.

Penalty-kill struggles: After allowing only six power-play goals in 45 chances through the first two rounds, Tampa Bay's penalty-kill unit has struggled. The Rangers have scored two goals with the one-man advantage in each of the past two games.

"The penalty kill needs to be better," G Ben Bishop said. "It starts with me. Six goals in three games is unacceptable."

The Lightning's 10 penalties Friday, including four in the chippy final minute, resulted in four power-play chances for New York. Rick Nash and Marty St. Louis both had third-period goals on the power play.

"Guys are making good reads, good decisions," St. Louis said. "Special teams are always big this time of year."

Stepping in: At the end of Friday's morning skate, Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness approached D Mark Barberio to give him the news: Barberio would make his playoff debut that night in Game 4 against the Rangers. "He asked me if I was ready to go," Barberio said. "I said, '(Heck) yeah!' " Barberio hadn't played since the regular-season finale April 11. He got the call because D Matt Carle (undisclosed injury) was out and the team again went with seven defensemen (Nikita Nesterov was also in). Barberio, 25, had been a healthy scratch the previous 16 games, staying ready with longer practice skates. He finished with a team-low 8:44 of ice time in 13 shifts.

RW Jonathan Marchessault, LW Jonathan Drouin and C Vladislav Namestnikov were scratched.

Ice chips: Boyle had a special moment Friday, planning to pick up his wife, Lauren, and their baby son, Declan, from the hospital and take them home for the first time since the Tuesday birth. … Rangers LW Rick Nash organized a team trip to the movies Thursday night to see Entourage. … RW Nikita Kucherov and C Cedric Paquette were both called for 10-minute misconduct penalties in the closing minute. … Bishop's 19 saves were his fewest of the series.