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Lightning Still Have Work To Be Done

by Missy Zielinski / Tampa Bay Lightning

A 5-3 win was enough to satisfy Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre, but he did recognize that the victory was not exactly perfect.

Holding a 4-2 lead entering the final 20 minutes of play, the Bolts' performance was lackluster in the third, causing netminder Ben Bishop to not only be peppered by 22 Maple Leaf shots, but allowing Toronto to come within one on the scoreboard.

The situation was the third time in four games where the Lightning's opponent has threatened a comeback.

Cooper said Thursday morning that the Bolts have been playing too safe in the third period and the team needs to communicate more with each other. He also felt the Bolts did not look after the blue line.

"On two occasions we turned pucks over on our blue line and their blue line and it ended up being big time scoring chances," Cooper said.

Not upset with their effort though, Cooper said correcting the errors will be done by looking at video before Tampa Bay faces the Ottawa Senators tonight at Canadian Tire Centre.


Alex Killorn will not face any supplemental discipline from the league for his hit on former Bolt Paul Ranger after he was taken off the ice on a stretcher Wednesday.

Ranger, who played with Tampa Bay from the 2005-06 to 2009-10 season, was taken to a local hospital for precautionary assessment during the game. He was discharged the same evening.

Killorn was given a five-minute boarding major and game misconduct for the hit that knocked Ranger into the endboards with 4.1 seconds left in the first period.


Free agent forward Cody Kunyk was signed to a one year, two-way NHL contract Thursday.

The 23-year-old has appeared in 37 games for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks this season, posting 22 goals and 43 points with a plus-13 rating. Kunyk led the Nanooks for goals, points, power-play goals and shorthanded goals.

Kunyk was named the WCHA's Player of the Year and to the First Team All-WCHA team. He led the WCHA for scoring during the 2013-14 season.


Lightning prospect Adam Wilcox and Brandon, Fla. native Clay Witt were named finalists for the 2014 Mike Richter Award.

The award annually honors the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA men's hockey.

Wilcox was drafted by the Lightning in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and is currently playing for the University of Minnesota.

The inaugural award will be announced at the 2014 NCAA Men's Frozen Four in Philadelphia.

  • Ben Bishop is slated to start Thursday night for the Bolts.
  • Cooper said there will be changes to tonight's lineup, but did not elaborate on what they would be.
  • Ryan Malone picked up his 200th point as a member of the Lightning Wednesday and notched two points in a single game for the first time since January 11.
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