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Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Lighting Claim C McKegg Off Waivers from Panthers

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have claimed forward Greg McKegg off waivers from the Florida Panthers, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

McKegg, 24, has played in 31 games with the Panthers this season, collecting three goals and six points to go along with 11 penalty minutes. The St. Thomas, Ontario native has set career highs this season for games played, goals, assists (three), points and penalty minutes. McKegg has appeared in 50 career NHL games over the span of four seasons with the Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs, posting five goals and eight points.

The 6-foot, 191-pound forward has also skated in seven games with the Springfield Thunderbirds of the American Hockey League, recording two goals and four points. McKegg has played in 244 career AHL games with the Thunderbirds, Portland Pirates and Toronto Marlies, registering 62 goals and 135 points to go along with 116 penalty minutes.

McKegg was originally drafted by the Maple Leafs in the third round, 62nd overall, at the 2010 NHL Draft.

Bolts Deal Bishop to Kings; Acquire Budaj, Cernak, and picks

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired goaltender Peter Budaj, defenseman Erik Cernak, a seventh-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft as well as a conditional pick in 2017 from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for goaltender Ben Bishop and a fifth-round selection in 2017, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Budaj, 6-foot-1, 196 pounds, has played in 53 games with the Kings this season, posting a 27-20-3 record with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage with seven shutouts. Budaj, 34, has appeared in 350 NHL games with Los Angeles, the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche, with a 152-127-39 record with 18 shutouts.

Cernak, 6-3, 221 pounds, has skated in 41 games with the Ontario Hockey League’s Erie Otters this season, registering three goals and 17 points, along with a plus-27 rating. The 19-year-old defenseman has played in 82 career OHL games with Erie, recording seven goals and 32 points with a plus-34 rating.

NHL Game Night: 2-23-17 Flames at Lightning

Off night puts Lightning back behind the eight ball.

CGY-3
TB-2

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 25 shots for the loss. On that third goal, the Lightning really needed Vasiy to step out and make a key situational save to give them a chance and he didn't get it.

First Period
6:17 TB Namestnikov (9), (Coburn, Point)

Second Period
5:04 CGY Backlund (18), (Giordano, Hamilton)
6:25 CGY Monahan (20), (Gaudreau, Hamilton)

Third Period
17:02 CGY Hamilton (10), (Backlund, Frolik)(PP)
18:47 TB Kucherov (23), (Hedman, Filppula)(PP)

Nikita Kucherov was the game's third star.

The Lightning got off to a great start in this game and looked to be in solid control against Calgary, but they got into penalty trouble in the middle of the period and all of the steam came out of the Lightning attack. I thought they really missed Jonathan Drouin in the lineup because he can be a one man attack shift-to-shift, and without him in the lineup the Lightning were just a lot more predictable and one-dimensional offensively. You need two credible offensive lines, at least, in this league and without Drouin the Lightning had the Triplets and little else.

The Lightning point streak was snapped at 7 games, and with their standings position being what it is they can't afford to lose any games. That's why, realistically, they needed to start this push a month earlier to have a better chance to complete their run to the postseason.

Jake Dotchin was -2 with 7 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 21:16. It was a rugged night for young Dotchin.

Gabriel Dumont was -1 with 1 hit in 6:27. He missed a shot in the Third Period about as far to the left as is possible. I hope to God that puck was deflected and I just missed it. That shot had a better chance of hitting the blimp flying over the arena than it did the back of the net.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-21-17 Oilers at Lightning

Lightning put on a clinic against young Oilers.

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Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 21 shots for the victory. It was a lighter night for Bishop, in terms of workload, punctuated by a handful of important situational saves.

First Period
4:26 TB Palat (12), (Kucherov)

Second Period
0:16 TB Palat (13), (Johnson, Kucherov)
10:17 EDM Pakarrinen (1), (Klefbom, Larsson)

Third Period
0:49 TB Kucherov (22), (Stralman, Johnson)
19:59 TB Namestnikov (8), (Kucherov)(EN)

Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov, and Tyler Johnson were the game's three stars. It was definitely Triplets Night at the rink.

Big ups to the rare time a Jon Cooper coaching challenge actually worked to nullify an Edmonton Third Period goal after a super-sloppy 4-on-4 sequence where the team gave up possession way too easily in that situation.

Jake Dotchin had 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 21:30.

Gabriel Dumont had 1 hit and was 75% on 4 draws in 8:41.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-19-17 Lightning at Avalanche

Drouin Magic sends the Lightning to the mile high pay windah.

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COL-2 (OT)

Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the OT victory. Obviously, as with Vasiy last night, you'd have loved one more situational save to seal a regulation win, but the deflection goal at the end of regulation was pretty freakishly unlucky.

First Period
18:18 TB Point (8), (Killorn, Hedman)

Second Period
10:09 TB Namestnikov (7), (Filppula, Boyle)

Third Period
2:46 COL Rantanen (13), (Comeau, Duchene)
19:18 COL Duchene (16), (Barrie, MacKinnon)

Overtime
2:27 TB Drouin (17), (unassisted)

Nikita Kucherov and Jonathan Drouin were the game's second and third stars.

This was a weird game. Both teams are struggling and I thought the game was a little bit sluggish all night long. The Lightning carried the balance of the play and after the soft goal surrendered to Namestnikov they had ample opportunity to get the put-away goal and build a 3 goal advantage headed into the final frame. But, they failed to do so and Colorado got some puck luck to eventually tie the game late in regulation. They Jonathan Drouin made a play that forced veteran Lightning beat writer Erik Erlendsson to burn the internet down with profanity. Good times.

Looking at the team's diagnostic goals, it was another productive night at the office for Brayden Point potting his 8th goal and further cementing his partnership with Drouin. With an offseason working on his upper body strength and his shot, you can probably think about inking Point onto a line with Jonathan and Kucherov on Stamkos'. That's good stuff.

Jake Dotchin was +2 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 3 hits in 20:01.

Gabriel Dumont had 1 hit in 8:27 and was 50% on 6 draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

CHL Game Night: 2-18-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 4 @ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 2

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 1 Hit, *First Star*
Season Totals: 53 GP, 34-12-46, +8, 74 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 1 Hit
Season Totals: 42 GP, 32-33-65, +36, 45 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

Boko scored for the second straight night, earning first star in Saint John’s 4-2 win over the Sags.

Charlottetown Islanders 5 @ Halifax Mooseheads 1

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 12/21 FO, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 50 GP, 14-23-37, -7, 22 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 59 GP, 13-33-46, -15, 25 PIM

Lightning prospect camper Mark Grametbauer stopped 20/21 shots to lead Charlottetown to a 5-1 win. The Mooseheads have been outscored 14-1 this weekend.

Drummondville Voltigeurs 3 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 2

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 3 Hits
Season Totals: 52 GP, 37-25-62, +20, 52 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM

Yan tied the game at two with three seconds left in the first period, but Shawinigan couldn’t find another goal.

Ontario Hockey League

Mississauga Steelheads 0 @ Erie Otters 3

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: Did not play
Season Totals: 42 GP, 18-33-51, +27, 12 PIM
With Erie: 16 GP, 5-12-17, +9, 4 PIM
With Oshawa: 26 GP, 13-21-34, +18, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 21-38-59, -15 27 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 1-1-2, +3, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season Totals: 45 GP, 34-58-92, +60, 29 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM

Raddysh had a goal and an assist, but was ejected in the final minute of the game with three others for some rough stuff. Cirelli missed the game with a foot injury. He is considered day-to-day.

Niagara IceDogs 1 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 8

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season: 55 GP, 26-24-50, +9, 38 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 63 GP, 24-27-51, +7, 61 PIM

Sault Ste. Marie responded to a disappointing loss Friday night with a blowout win Saturday night. Katchouk couldn’t get in on the scoring fun. Tim Gettinger (Rangers) had a hat trick for the Hounds.

Western Hockey League

Saskatoon Blades 2 @ Lethbridge Hurricanes 6

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 50 GP: 3-19-22, -9, 57 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 69 GP, 3-23-26, -19, 76 PIM

Matt Alfaro (undrafted) had a hat trick for Lethbridge.

Regina Pats 0 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 4

C Brett Howden, MJ: 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 45 GP, 30-33-63, +5, 54 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Howden hit 30 goals for the first time in his WHL career, helping the Warriors to a win over the visiting Pats. Regina was awarded the 2018 Memorial Cup earlier in the day.

NHL Game Night: 2-18-17 Lightning at Stars

Lightning see the second point stolen by Roussel's deal with the devil.

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DAL-4 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 28 shots for the loss. I'd have liked to have seen him less deep in his net on the third goal and squarer to the shooter. Other than that, I don't think he had much of a chance on the goals against, although you'd obviously have liked to have seen him make one more big situational save to secure the second point somewhere along the way.

First Period
3:07 TB Hedman (9), (Boyle, Dotchin)
11:59 TB Johnson (17), (Point, Hedman)(PP)
12:50 DAL Roussel (9), (Hamhuis, Seguin)
18:50 DAL Roussel (10), (Seguin, Eaves)

Second Period
9:46 TB Hedman (10), (Johnson, Palat)(PP)

Third Period
4:40 DAL Roussel (11), (Seguin, Sharp)

Overtime
3:47 DAL Ja. Benn (20), (Eakin)

Victor Hedman was the game's second star.

In normal circumstances, I'd probably have been alright with the game tonight. Kudos to the coaching staff for having the team ready to go tonight. I expected them to be flat coming off their "bye week", but other than Nikita Kucherov being MIA tonight I was generally happy with the effort level. They dominated large swaths of the game and only a bizarre night where Antoine Roussel played way above his abilities really pushed this game past regulation. Unfortunately, giving the Lightning's situation in the standings, every point lost pushes them that much closer to the golf course.

As I've said before, the remainder of this season is really an important diagnostic period for the Lightning to see how much they can trust some of their young guys to take bigger roles next season. Vasilevskiy's performance was a bit of a push tonight, but I thought Brayden Point was dynamite tonight. He's forming really nice chemistry with Jonathan Drouin and that gives the Lightning a lot more roster flexibility in considering potential trades.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and was +1 with 2 hits in 18:22. This might've been his best game in the NHL. He found himself defending in open ice a couple of times against the Stars' top line and handled the pressure well.

Gabriel Dumont had 2 shots and 3 hits and was 33% on 6 draws in 9:42.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-11-17 Lightning at Jets

Lightning head into their "bye week" in style.

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Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 33 shots for the win. If you want to know why the Lightning have gone on a little run here recently, look no farther than the crease where they've started to get quality starts consistently from both Bishop and Vasilevskiy.

First Period
12:05 TB Point (7), (Drouin)
17:02 TB Boyle (13), (Hedman, Dotchin)

Second Period
2:11 TB Palat (11), (Point, Sustr)

Third Period
11:15 WPG Trouba (5), (Byfuglien, Wheeler)
19:24 TB Hedman (8), (Palat, Paquette)(EN)

Jonathan Drouin and Brayden Point were the game's first and second stars.

The Lightning may end up regretting having to take this bye week, because they've gotten some momentum for the first time since early in the season.

With 57 points through 56 games, the Lightning now need 39 of 52 remaining points to hit the magic number of 96 points. That's still a .750 pace, which is why you shouldn't be surprised if some selling begins this week.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 2 hits in 17:14. Dotchin with the puck in open ice is a bit of an adventure. Keep it simple, young man.

Gabriel Dumont had 2 penalty minutes, 3 hits, 1 blocked shot, and was 50% on 8 draws in 11:58.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-10-17 Lightning at Wild

Everything but the getaway for a night of Vasilarceniy.

TB-1
MIN-2 (SO)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 38 shots before conceding to just 1 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
14:31 MIN Niederreiter (18), (Granlund, Pominville)(PP)
17:16 TB Point (6), (Garrison, Killorn)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TB- NONE
MIN- Koivu

Vasilevskiy was the game's second star.

Brayden Point graduated from prospect status on the website in style with a goal. He was also +1 with 1 shot and he was 20% on 5 draws in 15:43.

Jake Dotchin had 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 18:19.

Gabriel Dumont had 1 hit and was 44% on 9 draws in 10:09.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-7-17 Kings at Lightning

When Kucherov got his mojo back.

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Ben Bishop turned aside all 28 shots he faced for the shutout victory. Got help from his horseshoe to usher back in a night of U. of Maine Justice.

First Period
7:46 TB Drouin (16), (unassisted)

Second Period
6:55 TB Kucherov (20), (Namestnikov, Sustr)
11:02 TB Dumont (1), (Brown, Hedman)
18:18 TB Kucherov (21), (Namestnikov, Witkowski)

Third Period
13:08 TB Coburn (2), (Drouin, Vermin)

Nikita Kucherov, Bishop, and Vladislav Namestnikov were the game's three stars. After struggling to regain his usual form for more than a month, Kucherov showed signs of getting back to his hold self in the last game against Anaheim. I'm happy to say the indications from that game were real and that Kucherov looks like he might be ready for a strong stretch run. As for the much maligned Namestnikov, he needs more nights like this because he's playing for his job in Tampa Bay at this point.

Do these back to back wins mean the Lightning suddenly have a chance to stride back into the playoff chase? Well, to comfortably make it in at 96 points, they'd need 42 of a remaining 56 points. Is a .750 winning clip realistic? There's your answer.

Brayden Point was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 14:49. He was also 29% on 7 draws. Point's next game will be his 41st of the season and he will graduate from prospect status on the website.

Luke Witkowski had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot and 3 hits in 8:25.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 5 hits in 14:00.

Gabriel Dumont had his first goal in a Lightning jersey and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 10:42. He was also an uncharacteristic 17% on 6 draws.

Joel Vermin had a helper and was +1 with 1 blocked shot in 10:29.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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