The Tampa Bay Lightning took the rink on Wednesday following a 4-3 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, a game that head coach Guy Boucher said revealed a lot of character after the Bolts erased a three-goal deficit in the final six minutes to collect a crucial point in the standings.
Here are some of the highlights from the session:
Lightning head coach Guy Boucher announced that forward Ryan Malone will be out approximately three to four weeks, due to a lower body injury that was sustained Sunday during a pregame soccer kick-around, which the team frequently uses to activate prior to taking the ice for a game.
Malone said the injury is nothing new, and rather one that was just re-aggravated from an earlier instance.
With a shortened season as it is, Malone could miss up to 14 games, but remains optimistic.
After beginning the season in Syracuse of the American Hockey League, forward Richard Panik made his NHL debut on Tuesday against the Canadiens, logging one blocked shot and a hit in 9:58 of ice time.
Not a bad debut for the former second round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, who impressed head coach Guy Boucher with his hockey smarts, size and speed.
“He was very good with puck protection and he forces himself inside the dots offensively,” Boucher said. “That’s something we want the whole team to improve on, especially on the road, so young guys like himself, and Killorn too, they brings those attributes.”
HED OF THE CLASS
Victor Hedman proved to be the sparkplug the Bolts needed Tuesday night against Montreal, as he not only sparked the Lightning rally, but his two goals were also a single-game career high.
Hedman, though, despite saying he wants to be more of an offensive player and join the rush, is still counted on defensively to shut down opponents’ top lines.
This season, thus far, has been a good indication of Hedman’s evolving play, with the exception of one game, head coach Guy Boucher said.
Still, Boucher has been impressed with what he has seen and only expects the second overall pick from 2009 to get better.
“I think he’s been really, really good,” Boucher said. “He’s shown a major defensive improvement and he’s shown that he knows when to jump in. He’s been really impressive.”