Lightning Archives - Page 3 of 25 - SaintPetersBlog

Rangers clobber Lightning behind Michael Grabner’s hat trick

The good start by the Tampa Bay Lightning seems like only a distant memory.

The Lightning lost its third consecutive game Sunday night in a 6-1 clobbering at the hands of the New York Rangers.

After a scoreless first period, the Rangers scored four in the second period. Michael Grabner scored the third hat trick of his career in the win.

“It’s a test,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “But let’s pump the brakes. It’s game nine. If it was game 79, we might be a little alarmed. Let’s see how these guys pull themselves out of this.”

Cooper pointed out that breakaways and odd-man rushes led the New York effort.

“All of our players got in the passenger’s seat,” Cooper said. “No one got in the driver’s seat.”

The Lightning only scored in the third period when Steven Stankos scored on the power play.

Tampa Bay is at the New York Islanders Tuesday night before returning home to play the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

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Lightning’s slow start dooms them against New Jersey in loss

The Tampa Bay Lighting, off to a good start this season, have now stubbed their toes in back-to-back games.

The Lightning dropped a 3-1 decision to the New Jersey Devils Saturday night, marking the first time all season the team has lost two in a row. Tampa Bay is now 5-3 on the season.

Tampa Bay had 33 shots on goal, including six by forward Steven Stamkos. However, a third-period goal by Tyler Johnson was the only score the Bolts could manage. It was the seventh time in eight games the Bolts have failed to score in the first period.

“If we want to have long-term success  in this league,  you can’t fall behind,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “On our home stand, we found ways to come back, but it’s just a recipe for disaster.

“I look back, I think we’ve only scored once in the first period all year. You’re not going to win too many hockey games if you’re always chasing the game. Our urgency has not been there for whatever reason in the 3rd period against Montreal and it just carried into tonight. That’s too bad because that’s a team you catch on a back-to-back. It’s a little tough for us too because we’ve been on the road for a week and more than that so both teams have wear and tear on them a little bit but we’ve got to be better for us to win tonight.”

Andrei Vasilevskiy started in goal for Tampa Bay, but he stopped only 20 of 23 shots.

New Jersey scored twice in the opening period on goals by Adam Henrique and Damon Severson. Devante Smith-Pelly made it 3-0 in the third period. For a team playing its second game in two nights, the Devils were crisp.

“If you look at the schedule, you would say that would have benefited us, but we didn’t use it to our advantage,” Johnson said. “We didn’t start off hot. We didn’t start the way we wanted to, and they came out ready to play so you’ve got to give them credit for that. But we definitely weren’t at our best.”

The Lightning plays against the New York Rangers tonight.

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Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos validates decision against Toronto

Yeah, Steven Stamkos made the right choice, all right.

Stamkos, who declined to move to his home town of Toronto in the off-season and instead signed a seven-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, scored twice in his return home Tuesday night. The Lightning ran its record to 5-1 with a 7-3 win over the Maple Leafs.

“I’m sure he’s feeling a little better about his contract situation than he was a year ago,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “He’s shooting the puck. When someone of his caliber is shooting the puck, good things are going to happen.”

The Lightning got its first first-period goal of the season as it raced to a 4-0 lead. The Leafs came within 5-3, but Tampa Bay scored two more to close out the victory.

“We wanted to come out strong, and I think that was the first game where we scored in the first period,” Stamkos said. “So it was something we talked about before was getting out to a good start, especially on the road, it’s always important. It definitely set the tone for the game and put us up.”

For the Bolts, Alex Killorn scored his fifth goal of the year and Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov scored their first. Also, Vlad Namestinov and Jonathan Drouin scored.

Goaltender Ben Bishop had 40 saves – the Leafs got off 43 shots – and lost two teeth in taking the win.

The Lightning now travels to Montreal for a Thursday night game against the Canadiens.

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Lightning finally take a lead in victory over Ottawa Senators

A lead!

The Tampa Bay Lightning finally held a lead!

After failing to score first in four straight games, the Bolts finally took a lead in a 4-1 victory over Ottawa Saturday night. The Lightning liked it so much, they scored again to take a 2-0 lead in the second period.

“The season is 82 games long,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “I was hoping we’d score first at some point. I like the way our goaltender (Andrei Vasilevskiy) played. He didn’t see a lot of work. He stayed strong. He saw some point-blankers at the end of the second period.”

The Lightning now have five more road games before returning home.

Steven Stamkos, Vlad Namestikov, Valterri Filppula, and Alex Killorn scored goals for the Lighting. For Killorn, it was his fourth of the year. For Stamkos and Filppula, it was their third.

Vasilevskiy won his second game with 27 saves in 28 shots. In his two wins, Vasilevskiy has stopped 59 shots.

“He’s a great young goalie,” Stamkos said. “We saw last year what he can do when he’s feeling it. First couple of starts, not a lot rattles that guy. For him to be that mature as a young kid is impressive. We’re fortunate to have the two guys in net that we have.”

In beating Ottawa, the Lightning beat former coach Guy Boucher.

The Lightning now travels to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs.

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Avalanche ends unbeaten streak of Tampa Bay Lighting in 4-0 win

Now that it has been established that the Tampa Bay Lightning will not go undefeated this year, coach Jon Cooper has a request.

How about a lead, for crying out loud?

The Lighting, which has trailed in every game this year, could mount no comeback Thursday night. They lost 4-0 to Colorado, giving up goals in the final minute of each of the first two periods. The Lightning came close – Nikita Kucherov hit the post, and Andrej Sustr was off-sides on a goal – but for the most part, the defense of the Avalanche held up.

Colorado had only 16 shots for the game, but four of them went into the net. Two of them were by Matt Duchene.

Semyon Varlamov had 27 saves for the 21st shutout of his career.

The Lightning had trailed 2-0 in its first two comeback wins and 2-1 and 3-2 in its third.

“We can’t keep playing from behind,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “We played from behind in our first four games. Did we desereve to be playing from behind in all four games? Did we deserve to be playing from behind tonight. It’d be nice to have the lead. You just can’t keep testing fate.”

The Lightning now begin a six-game road trip, starting Saturday night in Ottawa.

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As regular season approaches, Nikita Kucherov signs new Bolts deal

As the Tampa Bay Lightning prepares for a new season, the gang’s all here.

Once again, general manager Steve Yzerman has gotten a name on a contract.

This time, it is forward Nikita Kucherov, who signed a new three-year deal worth $4.766 million per season. He joins Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman as huge off-season signings.

Kucherov, 23, scored 30 goals for the Bolts last year in 77 games. He led the team in points and was second in goals and assists (36).

The 5-foot-11, 178-pound forward also skated in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Lightning last season, posting 11 goals and 19 points to go along with a plus-13 rating. Kucherov led the Bolts during the playoffs for both goals and points. He finished second for goals and sixth for points in NHL in playoff scoring. Over the past two postseasons, Kucherov has tallied 21 goals and 41 points in 43 Stanley Cup Playoff contests. Kucherov has scored more playoff goals than any player in the NHL over the previous two postseasons.

Kucherov has skated in 211 career NHL games, all with Tampa Bay over the past three seasons, collecting 68 goals and 149 points to go along with 81 penalty minutes and a plus-50 rating. He’s also appeared in 45 career playoff games, recording 22 goals and 42 points. Kucherov represented Team Russia at the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto last month, posting two goals and three assists in four tournament games. He ranked tied for first on Russia in both goals and points.

The Moscow, Russia native was originally drafted by the Lightning in the second round, 58th overall, at the 2011 NHL Draft.

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Lightning gets another key piece of its puzzle under contract in Alex Killorn

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gave a lot of money to his star players this off-season. He did not forget about the the rest of the roster, however.

Yzerman signed forward Alex Killorn to a seven-year contract extension on Sunday.

Killorn, 26, scored 14 goals last season and added five more in the post-season. He tied for fourth in goals and points on the team. In all, Killorn has scored 53 goals and 15 goals in the playoffs.

Yzerman’s biggest remaining challenge appears to be signing forward Nikita Kucherov.

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Forward Cory Conacher returns to the Lightning after playing in Swiss League

Forward Cory Conacher, who had his greatest success with the Tampa Bay Lightning, is coming home.

Conacher, 26, is returning to the Lightning. In 2012-2013, he had nine goals and 15 assists for the Bolts. Later that season, he was traded (with a No. 4 draft pick) for goaltender Ben Bishop.

Conacher played 79 games for Ottawa in 2013-2014 and 15 for the Islanders in 2024-2015. Last year, Conacher played with Bern SC of the Swiss-A league.

The 5-foot-8, 182-pound forward has appeared in 166 career American Hockey League games, recording 67 goals and 153 points. Conacher set career highs during the 2011-12 AHL season, posting 39 goals and 80 points in 75 games with the Norfolk Admirals, the Lightning’s top affiliate. That season, Conacher led the Admirals to a Calder Cup Championship and was awarded the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s regular season MVP.

Conacher went undrafted and originally signed as a free agent with the Bolts on March 3, 2012.

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Lightning stay busy, sign Victor Hedman to new eight-year contract extension

Why doesn’t the NHL just hand Steve Yzerman the General Manager of the Year award for next year and be done with it?

The amazing summer of the Tampa Bay Lightning continued Friday when defenseman Victor Hedman signed an eight-year contract extension for $63, two days after team captain Steve Stamkos did the same.

Also in this summer, Yzerman has reached a peace with forward Jonathan Drouin, decided not to trade Ben Bishop for now and bought out unpopular defenseman Matt Carle. Also Friday, the team re-signed goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.

“We are very pleased to announce the signing of Victor Hedman to an eight-year contract extension. Victor has matured into one of the top defensemen in the NHL and coming off the recent re-signing of our captain, Steven Stamkos,  we’ve secured another extremely important member of our team,” Yzerman said upon making the announcement. “I’m very appreciative of both Victor and Peter Wallen’s efforts to reach an agreement with us at this time.”

Hedman, 25, played in 78 games with the Lightning last season, collecting 10 goals and 47 points to go along with a plus-21 rating and 46 penalty minutes. He led all Lightning defensemen for goals, assists (37), points and plus/minus. Hedman led all Lightning skaters for plus/minus, average time on ice (23:03), takeaways (48) and blocked shots (132). His plus-21 rating was a new career high.

“For me, it was never a doubt,” Hedman said. “Staying in Tampa was my No. 1 priority. For me, Stammer, we want to win together. That was obviously a big goal, to go all the way together with Tampa.”

Hedman currently ranks third all-time in franchise history among defensemen for career points with 229, behind Dan Boyle (253) and Pavel Kubina (243). He is also second all-time among defensemen for assists (180) and fourth for goals (49). Hedman ranks third all-time among Tampa Bay defensemen for games played (470), trailing Kubina (662) and Cory Sarich (490).

The 6-foot-6, 223-pound defenseman also appeared in 17 Stanley Cup playoff games in 2016, posting four goals and 14 points, tied for the team lead with 10 assists. Hedman has played in 65 career NHL playoff games, recording six goals and 37 points to go along with 30 penalty minutes. He has reached the Eastern Conference Final in three of his seven seasons with the Lightning (2011, 2015, 2016). He is the Bolts’ all-time playoff leader for points, goals, assists and plus/minus among defensemen.

 

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In the end, it was too hard for Steven Stamkos to leave the Tampa Bay Lightning

His mind wandered, but Steven Stamkos’ heart always remained in Tampa Bay.

Stamkos, who agreed to an eight-year extension for $68 million dollars, surprised a lot of people around the league when he chose to stay.

I felt in my heart that Tampa was always the place I wanted to stay,” Stamkos said. “It was just following your heart and being loyal to the organization that brought me up and made me the player and person that I am today.”

Stamkos, 26, admitted he could have made more money by leaving. But that wouldn’t have been a bargain

“I grew up as a kid there,” Stamkos said. “And this team is on the verge of hopefully competing for Stanley Cups for years to come and me being the captain and being a leader… I know the process took a lot longer than maybe both parties would have liked, but in every decision in life you want to make the best decision.

“If we want to stay to together, there’s going to be sacrifices for both sides,” Stamkos said. “I believe the core we have understands that.

“Some people chase the most money possible. I realized the situation. There could have been some money left out there, but for me, that’s not what is was all about. I was comfortable this was something that gave me the best chance to win.”

Stamkos admitted there were days when his mind wandered.

“It was a very tough decision, it truly was,” Stamkos said on a conference call. “I can’t say this past week has been fun. It was pretty stressful, to be honest.”

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