Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

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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NSH-2 (OT)

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.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-22-17 Predators at Lightning

First string Lightning (closer to, at least) dismantle Preds.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 30 shots for the victory. He looked pretty locked in staring down multiple breakaways and keeping a clean sheet until a garbage goal late in the Third Period spoiled his shutout bid.

First Period
0:33 TB Hedman, (Stamkos, Kucherov)
15:37 TB Kucherov, (Stamkos, Palat)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
3:26 TB Gourde, (Callahan, Killorn)
14:05 NSH Watson, (Petterson, Girard)

Vasilevskiy, Steven Stamkos, and Matthew Peca were the game's three stars.

Playing against a B-team Nashville roster, I'm not going to celebrate this game too heartily, but I think it had the fingerprints of a lot of the things I feel give the Lightning the potential to have a very good season this year. Vasilevskiy's going to have a monster year, in my opinion, now that he enters as the clear number one netminder. Hedman and Kucherov continue to grow as team leaders as they did late in the last campaign. Steven Stamkos looks good in his return from injury and I like the initial form of the top two lines in appears Jon Cooper is forming. The only thing this game was missing was a scoring outburst by Brayden Point, but I expect that'll come in time, too. Long story short: I'm probably more bullish on the Lightning's outlook going into this season than a lot of my Bolt Prospects colleagues and tonight's performance added a little touch of validation to that opinion (as much as a preseason win can, I suppose).

Mathieu Joseph was -1 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 11:33.

Dennis Yan was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 1 hit in 8:02.

Ben Thomas had 4 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 3 hits in 20:55.

Peca was -1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 13:15. He was also a gaudy 90% on 10 draws.

Matthew Spencer had 1 shot in 18:06.

Daniel Walcott had 4 hits in 14:13.

Erik Cernak was +1 with 3 shots, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 16:16. He's shown well in camp and his exhibition game performances and appears to be moving up the organizational depth chart at right D.

Mikhail Sergachev had 2 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 20:03. Eat those minutes young fella. Eat those minutes.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-20-17 Lightning at Hurricanes

Junior Lightning strike back in Carolina.

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CAR-3

Petr Budaj allowed 2 goals on 20 shots through the first 40 minutes before giving way to Michael Leighton who allowed 1 goal on 12 shots the rest of the way for the back door win.

First Period
6:33 TB Erne, (Brown, Dumont)
12:37 CAR Wallmark, (Lindholm, Necas)(PP)

Second Period
2:29 TB McGinn, (Stephens)
4:28 TB Sergachev, (Point, Conacher)
9:25 CAR Ryan, (Miller, Hanifin)

Third Period
12:02 TB Katchouk, (Cirelli, Howden)
18:24 CAR Aho, (Skinner, Linholm)(PP)

Mikhail Sergachev and Anthony Cirelli were the game's first and second stars. Nice to see a younger Lightning lineup pull out a game on the road against a Carolina lineup that included more of their first choice players in front of their home crowd. These back-to-back games, if anything, have helped confirm the quality of the Lightning's prospects as many of these players move into their seasons in the junior and minor league ranks.

Slater Koekkoek had 2 penalty minutes, 1 hit, and 4 blocked shots in 19:01.

Boris Katchouk had the GWG and was +1 with 1 shot in 12:52.

Libor Hajek had 1 shot in 17:47.

Brett Howden had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 12:19. He was also 38% on 8 draws.

Cal Foote was -1 with 1 shot and 5 blocked shots in 18:36.

Matthew Peca had 2 shots and 1 hit in 17:28. He was also 43% on 7 draws.

Mitchell Stephens had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 11:10.

Cirelli had a helper and was +1 with 9 penalty minutes, 4 shots, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 16:01. He was also 17% on 6 draws. His penalty minutes game for a brawl started after boarding a Hurricanes opponent.

Adam Erne notched his second of the preseason and was +1 with 3 shots, 4 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 12:54. It will be tough, waiver eligibility being a concern, for Erne to make the Lightning out of camp. That said, I feel he gives the team a dimension it lacks as a creative power forward and from a pure hockey standpoint, he'd be on my first choice 23-man roster.

Erik Cernak was +3 with 2 shots, 7 hits, and 4 blocked shots in 20:27. The stay-at-homer's dream box score.

Sergachev had a goal and was +3 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 2 hits in 22:16. I'm not shocked. He's the real thing. I don't believe a 30+ point season is a reasonable expectation for Sergachev as a rookie, if he makes the squad, but I do believe he can be a solid minutes eater in his premiere campaign if the team keeps him in Tampa Bay.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-19-17 Hurricanes at Lightning

Junior Lightning nearly pull off comeback against Canes.

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Michael Leighton allowed 2 goals on 22 shots for the loss. The veteran netminder will enter the season the number one for AHL Syracuse.

First Period
3:46 CAR Williams (1), (Carrick, Teravainen)(PP)

Second Period
4:03 CAR Taravainen (1), (Rask, Carrick)(PP)

Third Period
TB Erne (1), (Peca, Conacher)(PP)

Alexei Lipanov was the game's third star.

It was a choppy game with the flow marred by a lot of penalties, compounded by the discontinuity of two rosters dotted with a lot of youth getting a quick look before guys get returned to junior.

Lipanov was scoreless in 15:42 with 2 shots and was 50% on 4 draws.

Boris Katchouk had 2 penalty minutes, 4 shots, and 2 hits in 13:11.

Libor Hajek had 3 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 19:57.

Taylor Raddysh had 2 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 13:52.

Cal Foote had 3 shots and 2 blocked shots in 21:56.

Matthew Peca had a helper and 4 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and he was 25% on 12 draws in 17:10. He had a nice setup to Erne for the Lightning's lone goal (that counted) on the evening.

Anthony Cirelli had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot and was 67% on 3 draws in 15:06.

Adam Erne had a goal, 1 shot, and 3 hits in 12:05.

Daniel Walcott had 3 shots and 3 hits in 13:07.

Oleg Sosunov played 16:37.

Alexander Volkov had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 3 hits, and was 60% on 5 draws in 16:38. He had the potential game tying goal waved off for goaltender interference late in the final frame.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Ondrej Palat Re-Signs with Lightning for 5 Years

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Ondrej Palat to a five-year contract worth $5.3-million AAV, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Palat, 26, skated in 75 games with the Lightning during the 2016-17 season, posting 17 goals and 52 points to go along with 39 penalty minutes. The Frydek-Mistek, Czech Republic native ranked third on the Lightning for assists (35) and plus/minus (+8), fourth for points and tied for fourth for power-play goals with five. Palat’s 19:07 average time on ice last season ranked second among all Lightning forwards.

The 6-foot, 188-pound forward has appeared in 307 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over the past five seasons, collecting 74 goals and 218 points to go along with 103 penalty minutes. Palat has also appeared in 46 Stanley Cup Playoff games, registering 14 goals and 29 points. During the Lightning’s 2015 Stanley Cup Playoff run, Palat recorded eight goals and 16 points in 26 games, as the Lightning lost in the Stanley Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

During his rookie season in 2013-14, Palat posted 23 goals and 59 points, and was named a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. Palat has also represented his native Czech Republic numerous times in international play, including the 2016 World Cup and 2014 Winter Olympics. He was a member of the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League when they won the Calder Cup in 2012.

Palat was originally drafted by the Bolts in the seventh round, 208th overall, at the 2011 NHL Draft.

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