Head coach Jon Cooper led the Tampa Bay Lightning on the ice this morning to hold the team’s pre-game skate at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Being that it is the day before the trade deadline, it came as no surprise that the Lightning themselves made a move off the ice, while on the ice, some players recovering from injury were back to skating with the team.
Here are the key highlights:
LINEUPS, INJURIES AND ILLNESSES
Mathieu Garon will get the start in net tonight against the Panthers.
Garon is coming off a victory in his last appearance on Friday night, a 5-4 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils.
The Bolts will also be without Nate Thompson, who is serving the first of a two-game suspension.
Instead, Mike Angelidis, recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League yesterday, will take his place.
As far as the rest of the lineup goes, Cooper said he will dress 21 guys in the warm-up, but that there is still “a lot up in the air.”
On the injury front, Cooper said captain Vincent Lecavalier could be ready to go as soon as Thursday in Raleigh.
Lecavalier, who is recovering from a broken foot, said he feels good, but is still awaiting test results, about which he will then consult with the team medical staff, who lastly will make a determination on whether or not he is ready to return.
Lecavalier skated with the team Tuesday for the first time since suffering a foot fracture earlier this season. He is expected to join the team for their upcoming road-trip.
“It feels pretty good and I’ve making progress every day,” Lecavalier said. “Now it’s just a question to see where we’re at. It’s not 100 percent, but it’s more lateral movements that cause an issue. It actually feels pretty good when I just skate forward, but you don’t want to push it too much before you see where the healing is at.”
TRADE DEADLINE TRANSACTION
The Lightning traded defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron Tuesday morning to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for forward Adam Hall and a seventh-round draft pick in this summer’s upcoming 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Hall, who played 20 games this season with the Bolts prior to being put on waivers by Tampa Bay, has been re-placed on waivers, according to general manager Steve Yzerman.
If Hall clears, Yzerman said he would be sent to Syracuse of the AHL.
At first the deal was met with some confusion as to why Yzerman placed Hall on waivers a few weeks ago, only to re-acquire him in a trade.
But in its simplest form, the Lightning do gain a draft pick and save some money on the values of contracts, which allows for additional flexibility should Yzerman want to make another deal before Wednesday’s trade deadline.
“Carolina was looking for a defenseman and we saw an opportunity to get another draft pick as well,” Yzerman said.
As for the remainder of the window leading up to the trade deadline, Yzerman had this to offer:
“We’ll be busy. I don’t know that we’ll really do anything, but we’re constantly talking to other clubs. I just can’t anticipate whether we’ll do anything.”
NOTES AND NUMBERS
-Steven Stamkos is currently on an eight-game goal scoring streak against the Panthers, setting the longest such streak all-time against Florida
-Martin St. Louis paces all skaters with six points (one goal, five assists) against the Panthers in three games this season
-Tyler Johnson has recorded points in four of his past six games, notching three goals and three assists during the stretch
-Tampa Bay has scored four or more goals in three of their past four home contests
-The Lightning have won four straight games on home ice and are on a seven-game winning streak against Florida dating back to last season