Tampa Bay Lightning Fail to Record Point for First Time Under Coach Jon Cooper

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Coach Jon Cooper had won two games and lost one (via shootout) after taking over the reins for Guy Boucher in Tampa Bay, but his team left the game without at least a point for the first time tonight.. Goaltender Ben Bishop also had a negative first for the Lightning, allowing his first goal since being traded to Tampa Bay after notching a shutout in his debut.. “We didn’t do a good job of puck management,” said Cooper , via The Associated Press.. “We have to do a better job of that if we want to be successful.” Tampa Bay struggled to mount a consistent attack and lost 27-21 in the shots against tally, largely due to struggling mightily in the first period.. As Sporting News’ Jesse Spector noted on Twitter , “The Islanders had 16 even-strength shot attempts in the first period, and Matt Carle had a minus-10 Corsi for the Lightning.” Carle would have redemption in the third period by backhanding a rebound past Evgeni Nabokov to tie the score at 2-2.. However, Matt Martin‘s wrist shot sneaked past Bishop with 6:26 remaining to improve the Islanders to 42 points with the No.. 8 seed while leaving Tampa Bay eight points out of the playoff picture.. Tampa Bay gets its next chance to climb closer to the playoff picture on Sunday as the Lightning visit the Southeast Division-leading Washington Capitals , winners of three straight.. Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com.. Follow him on Twitter @ ThomasEmerick , “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google source: http://www.rantsports.com/nhl/2013/04/07/tampa-bay-lightning-fail-to-record-point-for-first-time-under-coach-jon-cooper/

Should the Tampa Bay Lightning Be Buyers or Sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline?

With the team’s highest salary-cap hit, don’t expect him to be moving.. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images Tampa Bay doesn’t have a lot of moveable parts.  The Bolts have Vincent Lecavalier with nearly an $8 million cap hit until 2020.. Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell are under contract until 2015-16.. Martin St.. Louis and Ryan Malone are locked up until 2014-15.  Nate Thompson—who could have been considered a moveable part—signed a four-year extension last week through 2016-17.  Then there is the group of young stars like Cory Conacher, Tyler Johnson and Radko Gudas.. It is extremely impractical to think the Lightning will be able to keep all of the young stars in Tampa Bay for the rest of their careers, but this certainly won’t be the season that ties are cut.  Matt Carle and Victor Hedman are the heart of the Lightning defense and both are signed until at least 2017.  With a new coach and a talented core, it would be a disservice to the organization to sell the pieces.. Building for the Future Cory Conacher is one of many talented young stars for the Lightning that shouldn’t be moved.. Marianne Helm/Getty Images That talented group of young players and the coach that helped them get to the NHL have the rest of this season and 2013-14 to get things figured out.. At that point, seven of the AHL call-ups will become restricted free agents and decisions will need to be made.  The changes to the salary cap in 2013-14 will make it extremely difficult for teams to move players with large salary-cap hits.. The Bolts will need to find a way to either restructure Lecavalier’s contract to keep him or try to get some return for him on the trade market.  Martin St.. Louis has a nearly $6 million hit per season, but he is worth every penny.. With his career coming to a close, the front office needs to make sure he finishes his career in Tampa Bay and as a mentor to the young stars.  The 2014 season will also be the first real opportunity for Cooper to mold the team into his vision. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1587885-should-the-tampa-bay-lightning-be-buyers-or-sellers-at-the-nhl-trade-deadline

Tampa Bay Lightning See Playoff Hopes Dwindle

New York Islanders Celebrate Goal

The Lightning were sluggish for the entire first period.. However, once they found their legs, things kicked into high gear, with both teams trading scores until late.. Cooper spoke about those giveaways following the game, saying the team “must get better at coming out of the defensive zone clean”.. They didn’t do that tonight and it proved costly.. Young defenseman Victor Hedman missed this game after suffering a lower-body injury during last Thursday’s game in Carolina.. He’s also expected to sit out tonight so Matt Taormina was called up from AHL Syracuse.. Lightning fans can enjoy what’s left of this season, as it’s looking more and more likely their team will miss the postseason yet again.. That doesn’t mean we’re giving up, but instead facing reality.. Either way, the Lightning must come prepared to play tonight against the Washington Capitals .. Game time is 7 p.m.. Ready or not, this is crunch time for Tampa Bay. source: http://www.rantsports.com/nhl/2013/04/07/tampa-bay-lightning-see-playoff-hopes-dwindle/

Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals

“He brings us energy.. He’s doing what we expect him to do,” goaltender Braden Holtby said.. “That’s the player we expect out of him and he’s doing a great job of it.” Ovechkin, who tops the Capitals (19-17-2) with 41 points, turned in another superb effort Saturday, recording his 12th career hat trick while getting an assist in a 4-3 win at Florida.. He got three of those points on the power play, while Washington went 3 for 5 to improve to 7 for 21 over the past five games – four victories.. “We play our way,” Ovechkin said.. “When everybody gets into the play and everybody plays hard and plays simple, it’s going to work, especially with the kind of opportunities we had on the power play.” He has 16 goals and 21 assists in 24 career regular-season meetings at home against the Lightning (16-19-2), getting at least one point in all but three of those contests.. The Capitals have benefited greatly from Ovechkin’s dominance of Tampa Bay, going 12-1-1 in the past 14 matchups at Verizon Center, winning all three there last season.. They’ve split two road meetings this year, with Washington winning the most recent 4-3 on Feb.. 14, while Ovechkin failed to get a point and was a minus-2.. It’s unclear if the Caps will have Martin Erat available after he suffered a lower-body injury on a hit from behind by the Panthers’ Erik Gudbranson in the opening period. source: http://stats.washingtonpost.com/nhl/preview.asp?g=2013040723&home=23&vis=20

Capitals vs. Lightning: Alex Ovechkin scores two more goals as Washington tops Tampa Bay, 4-2

On this particular occasion, Ovechkin rewarded Oates’s confidence with an empty-net goal with 4.4 seconds left in the third period to seal a 4-2 Washington win over the Lightning.. The tally clinched the Capitals’ fourth consecutive victory , their eighth win in the past 10 games, and it pushed them to 42 points — two ahead of the Winnipeg Jets, who are their nearest competitor in the Southeast Division.. It also marked Ovechkin’s 25th goal of the season, tying him with Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos as the league’s leading goal scorer and perhaps reminding the entire NHL that the dynamic winger is just as powerful an offensive force as he ever was.. “Right now I feel pretty good and again we win the games it’s most important thing,” Ovechkin said.. “Of course I’m happy I score the goals, the beginning of the year was pretty hard time for all organization.. Now we’re back on track and it’s good.” In back-to-back contests this weekend against the Florida Panthers and Lightning, Ovechkin recorded six points (five goals, one assist) but this weekend is only the latest chapter of Ovechkin’s offensive explosiveness this season.. “He’s scoring on his chances; obviously he’s got a lot of shots during the game,” center Nicklas Backstrom said.. “It makes it easier.. And when he has confidence, it’s fun to see and helps the team a lot.” For the better part of the past three weeks, Ovechkin has been the commanding and unstoppable on-ice presence that made him one of the league’s most ebullient players early in his career.. It’s no coincidence that the Capitals’ rise up the Eastern Conference standings occurred at the same time.. Over the past 12 games, Ovechkin has recorded 15 goals and 21 points and Washington is 9-2-1.. “I think that’s why we’ve been playing so good as a team,” rookie defenseman Steve Oleksy said. source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/capitals/capitals-vs-lightning-alex-ovechkin-scores-two-more-goals-as-washington-tops-tampa-bay-4-2/2013/04/07/d58c6cce-9fed-11e2-be47-b44febada3a8_story.html

Lightning loses to Capitals

You never know what is going to happen.” Related News/Archive Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Winnipeg Jets 4-3 More than a Year ago True, but consider that Tampa Bay (16-20-2) is eight points behind first-place Washington in the Southeast Division, with the Jets and Hurricanes ahead of them as well with 10 games left.. The Lightning is eight points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.. But sitting in 14th, it would have to jump six teams to get there.. And Tampa Bay is just two points ahead of the Panthers, last in the East.. “We’re getting better as a team,” coach Jon Cooper said.. “The problem is we’re just running out of time.. “I guess ultimately you see what these guys have character-wise, because they have every right to throw in the towel and say we’re too far out.. Or they can rally the troops and get ready for Ottawa (on Tuesday).. Until we get that little mark that says we’re out (of the playoffs), we keep going.” The Lightning’s puck possession was much improved over Saturday’s loss to the Islanders, as was the time Tampa Bay spent in the offensive zone despite the Capitals’ 38-30 shot advantage.. But Tampa Bay couldn’t hold a 2-1 second-period lead built on goals by Lecavalier and Alex Killorn.. It also could not finish prime scoring chances. source: http://www.tampabay.com/sports/hockey/lightning/lightning-loses-to-capitals/2113783

 

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