Lightning’s Palat dropped by questionable hit from Red Wings’ DeKeyser

Jared Clinton
Danny DeKeyser hits Ondrej Palat (via Streamable)

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings may not be two teams that first come to mind when you think of physical play, but the bad blood between the two sides may have reached its boiling point in Game 2 of the opening-round series.

After a first game that saw its share of rough play, the hatred was flowing between the two teams early. After a rough and tumble first frame tempers reached their highest point of the series when Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser absolutely wallpapered Tampa Bay winger Ondrej Palat with a questionable hit.

With the Lightning on a power play, the puck found its way behind the Red Wings’ goal where Palat raced to beat Detroit defenders and maintain possession. As he reached the puck, Palat had his stick lifted by defenseman Alexey Marchenko and was crunched by DeKeyser. Take a look: Read more

Alex Killorn shows off awesome hand-eye coordination for game-winning goal

Jared Clinton
Alex Killorn (Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

When coaches tell players to put pucks to the net, it’s usually with the hope the puck will take a friendly bounce and find the back of the net, or the shot creates a rebound that leads to a scoring chance. But when Lightning center Tyler Johnson threw the puck at Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard Wednesday night, what he then saw was teammate Alex Killorn smacking the puck out of mid-air for the game-winning goal.

Midway through the third period with Tampa Bay and Detroit locked at two goals apiece, Johnson managed to come up with a loose puck only a few feet from the right wing corner in the Detroit zone. With his head down, Johnson simply flung the puck towards Howard only to see a charging Killorn locate the puck in time to bat it home. If the goal sounds unorthodox, that’s because it was. Check it out: Read more

Ben Bishop and the Lightning penalty kill stymie Red Wings to take Game 1

Ben Bishop, Braydon Coburn and Victor Hedman (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

One of the biggest worries for the Tampa Bay Lightning with the losses of Steven Stamkos and Anton Stralman heading into the first-round series against the Detroit Red Wings was that their power play would suffer. Though that might have been the case in the first game of the series, it didn’t matter much as it was Tampa Bay’s other special teams unit, the penalty kill, that made the difference.

It should come as no surprise that special teams made a difference in the penalty-filled affair, either. The Lightning and Red Wings were both in the bottom half of the league in times shorthanded, and that was apparent in the opening game of the series as the team’s combined for 18 penalties. It also shouldn’t be too surprising that in a game that came down to special teams, it was the Lightning who came out on top.

During the regular season, the Lightning ranked seventh in the league in penalty killing at 84 percent and they had no problem in Game 1 taking care of the Red Wings’ 13th-ranked power play. Five times in the opening game of the series the Lightning found themselves shorthanded, and each time they snuffed out the Red Wings’ power play attempts. All told, Tampa Bay allowed only five shots against while down a man. Read more

Lightning’s Tyler Johnson suffers injury on scary hit from Canadiens’ Greg Pateryn

Jared Clinton
Tyler Johnson (via Streamable)

Already dealing with injuries to Steven Stamkos, Ryan Callahan, Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman, the last thing the Lightning could afford was another injury. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, they weren’t able to escape their final game without another injury, and it could be a big one.

Late in the first period of Saturday’s season finale against the Canadiens, Tyler Johnson was heading towards the Montreal goal when netminder Mike Condon covered the puck. As the whistle blew, Johnson was checked by Canadiens defenseman Greg Pateryn and the hit sent Johnson hard and awkwardly into the boards. Johnson remained down on the ice for a few moments before eventually being helped off the ice by the training staff: Read more

Rumor Roundup: Steven Stamkos’ injury won’t scare away free-agent suitors

A rising salary cap could impact free agent negotiations, like those with Steven Stamkos (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Steven Stamkos’ recent vascular surgery comes as a blow to the Tampa Bay Lightning entering the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. With a recovery time frame of one-to-three months, the 26-year-old might not return in time to help the Bolts in the post-season.

Given Stamkos’ UFA eligibility in July, his lengthy convalescence creates more uncertainty over his future. The Tampa Tribune’s Martin Fennelly suggests Stamkos may have played his final game in a Lightning jersey.

TSN’s Gary Lawless doesn’t expect Stamkos’ surgery will scare away free-agent suitors or reduce what could be his expensive asking price. It’s expected he’ll make a full recovery from the procedure. Lawless wonders, however, if this will have an effect upon Stamkos’ future plans, and those of the Lightning.

Read more

Watch Drouin snap home game-winner in first game back with Lightning

Jared Clinton
Jonathan Drouin (Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

When Jonathan Drouin came back to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch and has his team-imposed suspension lifted by Tampa Bay, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said it would be up to Drouin to earn his way back into the Tampa Bay lineup. Over his past 10 AHL games, he had done that, and a string of injuries for the Lightning resulted in Drouin being brought up from the minors.

Thursday, Drouin played his first game for the Lightning since Dec. 30, and the 21-year-old was thrown into top-six duty right out of the gate. And with everyone keeping a close eye on his play — and with a lot to prove — Drouin scored an insurance goal early in the third period that turned into the game-winner.

Breaking down the right wing, Drouin took a slick drop pass from Vladislav Namestnikov and found some open ice thanks to a loose stick on the ice and a great drive to the net by winger Alex Killorn. Drouin took the space, came in on New Jersey Devils netminder Keith Kinkaid and snapped the puck five-hole: Read more

The Hockey News Podcast: Episode 11 — Talking the Red Wings’ playoff streak with Helene St. James; Drouin’s impact on the Lightning

(Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Welcome to Episode 11 of The Hockey News Podcast.

This week, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press joins the podcast to discuss the Red Wings’ chase to extend their playoff streak to 25 years, their youth movement, and the rumors about Pavel Datsyuk finishing his career in Russia.

We also discuss the latest controversy with the Flint Firebirds, and Jonathan Drouin’s impact on the hurting Tampa Bay Lightning.

Download and subscribe on iTunes, and on Soundcloud.

[Music: Metz-Headache; Quicksand-Omission]

Lightning call up Jonathan Drouin, and now is his chance to prove himself

Jared Clinton
Jonathan Drouin (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been hit with a rash of injuries. First it was defenseman Anton Stralman then Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Ryan Callahan. But with the roster thinning and the Lightning in need of some scoring, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has made the move some believed could be coming: he called up Jonathan Drouin.

Drouin, 21, hasn’t played for the Lightning since Dec. 30, shortly before his season with Tampa Bay took a turn following a public trade request. Drouin was demoted to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch and played seven games before walking away from the team. He was suspended indefinitely and returned home to Quebec to practice on his own while he awaited a trade. The trade never came, though, and following the trade deadline Drouin asked his way back into the Lightning organization.

Since then, Drouin has been on a tear in the AHL, and he’s made it clear that he’s hungry for a spot on the NHL roster. Following the call up, it will be up to Drouin to prove he belongs in the NHL on a full-time basis. Read more