Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

NHL Game Night: 10-14-17 Blues at Lightning

Lightning kick ice in honor of Inaugural Team Night.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 29 shots for the victory. His lone blemish was a quick release seeing eye shot through a double screen. We'll forgive him.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
8:20 TB Johnson (2), (Sergachev, Point)(PP)

Third Period
6:27 TB Kucherov (5), (Stamkos, Namestnikov)
16:37 STL Tarasenko (4), (Schwartz, Schenn)

Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov, and Steven Stamkos were the game's three stars.

Different kind of game against a different kind of team. The shot totals were fairly even but I still felt like the Lightning carried the balance of play throughout this one and deserved the 2 points. Three quality wins in a row put the Lightning at 4-1-0-0 to start the campaign, including an unblemished record on home ice as they try to re-establish Amalie Arena as a fortress for the club. That puts them at 8 points halfway through the opening segment of the season. They just need 4 in the next 5 games to stay on minimum playoff pace, which means they have an opportunity over the next 5 games to potentially build a nice little cushion of points right out of the gate this year.

Slater Koekkoek had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 8:42.

Yanni Gourde had 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 17:38. More shots, Yanni.

Jake Dotchin had 2 hits and 2 blocked shots in 16:26.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and 2 shots and 3 hits in 10:27. It was a calmer performance tonight and he earned his second NHL point after getting awarded a helper after the fact in the Lightning's opener.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-12-17 Penguins at Lightning

Bow down to your new blueline overlord.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 40 shots for the victory. It's been like watching a new age Grant Fuhr early in this season. The stats don't part your hair when you read them, but he makes the big saves to help the team get W's.

First Period
6:07 TB Koekkoek (1), (Kunitz, Stralman)
13:46 PIT Guentzel (2), (Letang, Rust)
19:59 TB Hedman (1), (Killorn, Kucherov)(PP)

Second Period
3:59 TB Stamkos (1), (Namestnikov, Killorn)(PP)
8:58 PUT Sheary (3), (Ruhwedel, Niemi)
9:49 TB Kucherov (4), (Coburn, Killorn)
14:24 PIT Rust (1), (Guentzel, Maatta)(PP)
17:55 TB Koekkoek (2), (Killorn, Johnson)

Third Period
10:01 PIT Hunwick (1), (McKegg, Kessel)

Slater Koekkoek, Alex Killorn, and Kikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

It wasn't the same tour de force performance that the Lightning put together against Washington, but the Lightning looked the better team 5 v 5 all night long against Pittsburgh and deserved the result tonight. Had they stayed out of the box consistently, they surely would've made this a lot easier on themselves, and even with some lapses of discipline there were several moments in the game it looked like it was teetering on the edge of the Lightning getting a 3 goal lead and making it a laugher. Against that team, that's impressive. Back-to-back wins against Washington and Pittsburgh are absolutely impressive, and leave little doubt the Lightning are legit early in this campaign.

4 games into the season, the Lightning have 6 points. 6 more points to collect in the next 6 games to make this a successful segment of the season.

Koekkoek had his first 2 NHL goals and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 9:44. The first goal, which was deflected by the Pens and a bit of puck luck, looked like it took a 200 pound gorilla off of Slater's back. The second goal looked like sheer exuberance as Koekkoek emerged from the box to patiently deposit a 3-on-1 chance on his backhand. Might be time to give him a game or two with a little more IT to see how he handles it.

Yanni Gourde had 3 shots and was 50% on 4 draws in 15:45. I liked that he was shooting the puck more. That will pay dividends in the long run.

Gabriel Dumont was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 2 hits in 8:59. He was also 33% on 9 draws. Skating's an issue. It just needs to be said.

Jake Dotchin was -1 with 2 blocked shots in 16:45. Little by little, he keeps rounding into form.

Mikhail Sergachev was -1 in just 5:22 of ice time. Sheary snuck behind him off the bench to steal a goal, and it seemed like Sergachev didn't see the ice much after that. With Koekkoek playing a nice little game, I wouldn't be shocked in the Lightning gave Mikhail a game off to watch and re-center before throwing him back into the fire.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-9-17 Capitals at Lightning

Out of the ashes, Tampa Bay issues a statement.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the victory. The stat lines not pretty, but a handful of his saves had to be in order to allow the Lightning to keep contact and get the win.

First Period
16:42 WSH Backstrom (1), (Burakovsky, Oshie)
18:05 WSH Oshie (2), (Carlson, Backstrom)(PP)

Second Period
5:28 TB Killorn (1), (Point, Coburn)
7:49 WSH Oshie (3), (Backstrom, Kuznetsov)(PP)
18:09 TB Kunitz (1), (Stralman, Paquette)

Third Period
10:46 TB Kucherov (3), (Killorn, Stralman)

Overtime
3:08 Point (3), (Kucherov, Stamkos)(PP)

Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn were the game's first and second stars.

Every man in that lineup up and down deserved a star. That was Lightning hockey, and it was Lightning hockey at a level I don't think we've seen in a regular season matchup against the Capitals in forever. Coming off an embarrassing performance in Sunrise, the Lightning outskated, outpossessed, and outplayed Washington for the bulk of 63 minutes of hockey, allowing them to overcome some negative puck luck in the First Period to get the job done. And, it wasn't just the top lines or the top pairs. Every man all the way down to the checking line got it done tonight. Cedric Paquette even played like a beast tonight. Kunitz. Callahan. You name it. This team had a different look in their eye coming out of, one would presume, some kind of team meeting this morning, and they wouldn't be denied tonight. This isn't hype, it's truth: if they play with that level of determination, attention to detail, and hustle every night, they're going to leave a lot of opposing teams in their wake as they plow through this season. The back checking pressure of the Lightning forwards in the neutral zone alone tonight... well, Nigel's going to need to smoke a cigarette while he puts this film together. It's that good.

7 games left in segment 1 of the campaign: 8 points left to go.

Slater Koekkoek played 3:09 as the 7th d-man. If you blinked, you missed him.

Yanni Gourde had 2 penalty minutes in 14:44. I need some more SOG's, Yanni.

Jake Dotchin had 1 shot, 3 hits, and 4 blocked shots in 12:01. He's slowly rounding into form.

Mikhail Sergachev had 2 shots and 1 hit in 12:40. Mixed bag. Egregious turnovers in the First Period. Darned near potted a regulation winner in the Third Period.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-7-17 Lightning at Panthers

Travesty in Sunrise. And, no, I don't mean that the building was half empty on their opening night.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 5 goals on a staggering 48 shots for the loss. Without Vasiy, the Panthers may have scored 10 goals tonight.

First Period
3:30 TB Kucherov (2), (Stamkos, Namestnikov)
4:48 TB Namestnikov (2), (Stamkos, Kucherov)(PP)
12:18 FLA Dadonov (1), (Ekblad, Huburdeau)

Second Period
1:46 FLA Bjugstad (1), (Dadonov, McCann)
13:57 TB Point (2), (Palat)

Third Period
6:06 FLA Sceviour (1), (Haley, Barkov)
6:42 FLA McCann (1), (Bjugstad, Brickley)
8:34 FLA Trocheck (1), (Vrbata, Barkov)
14:12 TB Johnson (1), (Gourde, Point)

The score line doesn't depict what a squash this was, at all. Even the 48-30 shot disparity doesn't depict it, given half of the Lightning's shots came in the final frame. The team's top line pounced on Florida early to stake the club to a 2-0 lead and looked within an eyelash of making the game a laugher, and then took their foot off the gas and the whole thing went sideways. They spent most of the rest of the game looking slow and confused as they surrendered turnover after turnover and scoring chance after scoring chance until garbage time came and they began the quixotic quest for the improbable comeback. It's not good enough. In 120 minutes of hockey this season the Lightning have only played well in about... 35... of those minutes. It's unacceptable. I don't like the lower two lines. I don't like two of the three pairings. I don't like that the club overall doesn't seem to have a clue what to do with Jon Cooper's new tweaks to his system. Consider this a first test for the team's new leadership council, because a night like this is a rude awakening, and I'll be damned if I have to sit through another night where "Panther Territory" is celebrating like they just won the Stanley Cup (pathetic).

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was +1 with 1 hit in 14:42. He's played well, but he needs to translate that into shots on goal for himself to take another step.

Jake Dotchin was -2 with 5 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 1 hit in 13:25. Good Lord, I hope this isn't the beginning of Dotchin turning back into a pumpkin.

Mikhail Sergachev was -1 with 1 shot and 2 blocked shots in 16:54. Tonight he got roughed up physically and mentally. Not going to lie. He had some nice moments but he also got targeted by Florida and had some bad turnovers to go along with some dubious decision-making from the point on the power play. Mind you, I don't know he should be getting power play time at this juncture of his development, but that's another matter.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-6-17 Panthers at Lightning

Still...

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 36 shots for the victory. He was clearly the difference in the game, allowing the Lightning to overcome an anemic opening 40 minutes while Roberto Luongo surrendered a couple of soft goals at the other end of the rink.

First Period
6:33 TB Palat (1), (Point, Hedman)

Second Period
0:25 TB Point (1), (unassisted)
12:21 FLA Brickley (1), (Petrovic)
17:47 FLA Pysyk (1), (Vrbata, Trocheck)

Third Period
0:59 TB Namestnikov (1), (Stamkos, Killorn)(PP)
6:38 TB Kucherov (1), (unassisted)
14:30 FLA Huberdeau (1), (Dadonov, Yandle)
19:46 TB Palat (2), (Point)(EN)

Brayden Point, Anton Stralman, and Ondrej Palat were the game's three stars.

Really a very mixed bag on the night, with slightly more good than bad. The team looked flat and got outpossessed by a wide margin in the first 40 minutes of the game, and it took some great play by Vasilevskiy and some soft play by Luongo to keep the Lightning from getting run out of their own barn. I think it starts from the backline where I simply didn't like the pairings with Jake Dotchin being scratched. If Jake's still paying his penance to Coach Cooper, I hope it's paid in full soon, because playing Girardi top pair isn't sustainable and playing Sustr at all isn't either. Sustr, in particular, did not cloak himself in glory in this game.

Through the first two frames, I thought only the Palat/Point/Gourde line showed up to the rink, but they were joined by the top line of Namestnikov/Stamkos/Kucherov that started to come on in the Third Period. I'm really heartened to see Brayden Point have a good opening game. With Tyler Johnson off the scoring lines and nearly invisible, the Lightning's ace up their sleeve is Point. I suspect he can have a breakout season and help give the Lightning the two balanced lines they need.

So, all in all, I think the pieces I think the Lightning need to really have a strong season (Vasilevskiy, Point, and to a lesser extent the returning Stamkos) had a good opening night with the exception of the exiled Dotchin. Hopefully the Lightning can get him back and playing as well as he did at the end of last season, and that'll push Girardi down to third pair with Coburn and Sustr to the press box, which I think will soothe a lot of defensive ills.

Yanni Gourde was +1 with 2 hits in 13:36.

Gabriel Dumont was 67% on 6 draws in 9:01.

Mikhail Sergachev was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 4 shots in 16:03. I like that he's being mentored on a pair with Stralman and tonight was mostly what I'm hoping to see from him as a rookie. The Lightning need quality minutes more than hefty offensive production, and while I hope that ultimately Sergachev lands closer to 18 minutes on a game to game basis, this was a good start to his Lightning career.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-30-17 Lightning at Predators

Lightning close preseason in style.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the OT victory.

First Period
5:49 TB Killorn, (Stamkos, Kucherov)(PP)
10:46 NSH Salomaki, (unassisted)(SH)(PS)

Second Period
13:51 TB Killorn, (Kucherov, Hedman)(PP)

Third Period
16:07 NSH Sissons, (Josi, Fiala)

Overtime
1:02 TB Kucherov, (Stralman, Stamkos)

Nikita Kucherov was the game's first star.

Not going to say this game wasn't without its flaws, but after several mediocre performances against Florida, this team needed a result to cap the preseason. That's what they got tonight, via the play of their biggest guns.

Slater Koekkoek had 1 blocked shot in 13:48.

Yanni Gourde had 2 hits in 14:50.

Gabriel Dumont was -1 with 3 shots and was 80% on 5 draws in 8:25.

Jake Dotchin had 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 13:48 in his preseason debut off suspension.

Mikhail Sergachev was -1 with 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 20:33.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-28-17 Lightning at Panthers

Lightning out of sync as regular season looms.

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Petr Budaj allowed 4 goals on 32 shots for the loss.

First Period
8:17 FLA Vrbata, (Pirri)
14:24 FLA McCann, (Petrovic, McCoshen)
18:55 TB Killorn, (Kucherov, Stamkos)(PP)

Second Period
13:32 FLA McCann, (McGinn)

Third Period
9:53 FLA McCann, (Brickley, Vrbata)
18:36 TB Namestnikov, (Sergachev, Kucherov)
19:31 FLA Sceviour, (unassisted)(EN)

As good as the Lightning youth looked early in the preseason, the Lightning's veterans have been mediocre for much of the end of it. The biggest concerns at this point are that we're not seeing the kind of production from the second line we might've hoped for in preseason and the team is still without the suspended Jake Dotchin, whose presence in the lineup will hopefully greatly improve the defensive corps by pushing long-in-the-tooth veteran Dan Girardi down to the third pair.

Yanni Gourde had 2 shots and was 38% on 16 draws in 16:23.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and was -1 with 3 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 18:17.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Lightning Sign F Alexey Liponov to Entry-Level Deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Alexey Lipanov to a three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Lipanov, 18, split time between Dynamo Balashikha of Russia’s VHL and HK MVD Balashikha of the MHL last season. With Dynamo Balashikha, Lipanov recorded three goals and five assists in 21 regular season games and added three assists in six playoff games. With HK MVD, he had three assists in 11 games. The 6-foot, 169-pound forward skated in seven games for Team Russia at the World U-18 Junior Championships, recording three assists.

The Moscow, Russia native skated in one preseason game with the Lightning on September 19 when the Bolts took on the Carolina Hurricanes. Lipanov recorded two shots on goal in the game. He also played in three games during the Lightning’s rookie tournament in Nashville.

Lipanov was selected by the Lightning in the third round, 76th overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-26-17 Lightning at Panthers

Lightning fan snarky question of the night: Things Better Attended than a Panthers Preseason Game in Sunrise, FL? Go!

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for the loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
0:42 FLA Huberdeau, (Barkov)
5:57 FLA Huberdeau, (Barkov, Trocheck)(PP)

Third Period
7:35 TB Callahan, (Girardi, Namestnikov)
12:56 FLA Brickley, (Pysyk, MacKenzie)
18:57 TB Kucherov, (Point, Sergachev)
19:38 FLA Trocheck, (Barkov, Huberdeau)(EN)

Things are getting down to the nitty gritty now. This was pretty close to the opening night lineup with the probably exception of a couple of the forwards who played tonight and the absence of the suspended Jake Dotchin.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 15:12.

Alexander Volkov was +1 with 1 blocked shot in 15:14. He may very well be the old "last cut" of camp, which is surprising for a guy who had a very slim resume coming into this camp.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and 2 penalty minutes to go with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 19:50. IMO, the best scenario for the Lightning is for Sergachev to settle into a role where he plays a reliable ~18 minutes a night, and he looks like he may be capable of giving the team that.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Preseason Game Day: 9-24-17 Panthers at Lightning

Peca makes his case.

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Petr Budaj allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the loss.

First Period
5:39 FLA McGinn, (McCoshen, Bjugstad)

Second Period
14:30 TB Volkov, (Peca, Killorn)
15:02 FLA Dadonov, (Huburdeau, Barkov)

Third Period
4:34 FLA Vrbata, (Hawrlyuk, Malgin)(PP)
12:44 TB Volkov. (Killorn, Peca)
18:55 FLA Huburdeau, (Petrovic)(EN)

Matthew Peca was the game's third star.

Tonight's lineup looked to be a little closer to Tampa Bay's first choice defense playing with a more Syracuse-flavored forward corps.

Mathieu Joseph was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in 17:05.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 2 blocked shots in 17:14.

Brett Howden was 56% on 9 draws in 15:52.

Ben Thomas was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 1 blocked shot in 17:44.

Matthew Peca had 2 helpers and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot and he was 30% on 10 draws. Peca's had a solid camp and preseason with his play in all three zones and seems to be making a serious challenge to make the big league squad.

Mitchell Stephens had 1 shot in 11:30.

Anthony Cirelli was -3 and 54% on 13 draws in 16:03.

Adam Erne was -1 with 2 shots and 2 hits in 16:37.

Alexander Volkov had a pair of goals and 4 shots and 1 blocked shot in 15:25. He's played well throughout camp and the preseason. His first goal was a wraparound which might've been a bit of a soft goal gift that Florida's netminder should've gotten to. His second goal was pretty much a tap in driving to the net on a nice backhand feed by Killorn. He'll be an interesting player to watch in Syracuse this season.

Mikhail Sergachev was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 23:46. The ice time doesn't lie. The Lightning have big league plans for young Sergachev.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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