March 1, 2012
BACK TO BASICS
Following Wednesday’s day off from practice which allowed time for several ill players with the flu to recuperate, the Lightning returned to the ice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Thursday to hold practice in preparation for the team’s game at home on Friday night against the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers.
General Manager Steve Yzerman said Tuesday that he does not believe Bolts defenseman Victor Hedman is suffering from a concussion, however an undisclosed upper body injury still has the Lightning blue liner out of action with no specific time table for a return.
Captain Vincent Lecavalier, meanwhile, could be back in the lineup as quickly as 10 days from now, according to Head Coach Guy Boucher. Lecavalier, who has 21 goals and 46 points in 58 games played this season, is just eight games away from appearing in his 1,000th career game.
Marc-Andre Bergeron continues to be out with a back injury that has caused him to miss all but one of his team’s past 21 games. Bergeron saw a specialist in New York on Tuesday and conceded that there was even a possibility he could miss the remainder of the season.
It was announced by the National Hockey League on Monday that Lightning forward Teddy Purcell was named the league’s Second Star of the Week for the period ending Feb. 26.
Purcell, in 62 games this season, tied a career-high with 17 goals on Feb. 25 and with 47 points, is just five away from recording a new career-best which would surpass last season’s total. Purcell has four goals and 10 assists during an active career-high seven-game point streak dating to Feb. 16, which he brings into Friday’s game against the Rangers.
On Thursday, the team also learned that Steven Stamkos was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Month.
The Bolts forward began the month with a five-game point streak, posting four goals and eight points, including goals in four consecutive contests. Stamkos again scored in four straight games from Feb. 16 through Feb. 23, totaling six tallies. He had a season-high four points in a 6-5 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 16, and recorded his ninth game-winning goal, a franchise record, on Feb. 18 against the Washington Capitals. The No. 1 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft leads the NHL with 44 goals and ranks second with 76 points in 63 games.
The team announced on Thursday that it signed Cory Conacher to a two-year, two-way contract.
Conacher, 5-foot-8, 180 pounds, has played in 57 games with the Norfolk Admirals this season, recording 30 goals, 13 power-play goals, 26 power-play points and 64 points. He leads the Admirals in goals, power-play goals, power-play points, points, and ranks second for assists with 34.
Conacher is also tied for the AHL lead for power-play goals, is second for goals and is tied for third in points. He was recently selected as a starter for the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic, where he had two goals and three points.
Lightning prospect and current Harvard University forward Alex Killorn was named to the 2012 All-Ivy League team on Thursday.
A unanimous selection this year, Killorn leads the Crimson with 36 points , including 18 goals and 18 assists. He ranks 12th nationally with 0.62 goals per game and is 16th in the country with 1.24 points per game. He shared the league lead with two game-winning goals against Ivy teams.