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SHANABANNED! Habs’ Douglas Murray suspended three games for head shot

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By Allan Muir

The post-assault apology was appreciated by his victim, but it didn’t earn Douglas Murray any leniency from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. The DoPS cops dinged the Montreal Canadiens defenseman three games for his ridiculous head shot on Tampa Bay’s Mike Kostka on Tuesday night.

Kostka was concussed by the hit and has no return date in sight. Both factors played into the ruling. According to Lightning beat writer Missy Zielinski, it took Kostka 20 minutes to realize what was going on around him and he had no recollection of the hit.

He did, however, appreciate Murray’s apology. “Classy move,” Kostka said. “I don’t think he had malicious intent, but … it was a pretty nasty scary looking hit. I’m thankful I’m standing today.”

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  • Published On Apr 03, 2014
  • GIF: Steven Stamkos scores a goal on his own net on a delayed penalty

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    By Nick Stoico

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos is one of the most electric goal scorers in the NHL. His ability to always find the back of the net is impeccable, as evidenced by his 23 goals in 28 games this season, but this skill may not always play out into his favor.

    On a delayed penalty against the Buffalo Sabres, Stamkos managed to put the biscuit in the basket … it just happened to be the wrong one.  He banked the puck off the side board in the offensive end and all the way down the ice into the empty net at the other end – talk about great accuracy.

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  • Published On Mar 29, 2014
  • Lightning, Islanders go 13 rounds in shootout that features goals, ejection

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    By Mike McMahon

    The shootout is often referred to as “the skills competition” by fans, and the ones who were at the Lightning-Islanders matchup at  the Tampa Bay Times Forum got to see plenty of. It took 26 shooters to finally get Lightning a 3-2 win, and there was plenty of excitement to be had in the NHL’s longest shootout of the season. Here’s some of the highlights.

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  • Published On Mar 28, 2014
  • Watch: Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos swings his stick and scores!

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    Steven Stamkos showed off why he's a star with a spectacular goal vs. Ottawa. (Scott Audette/Getty Images)

    Steven Stamkos showed off why he’s a superstar with a spectacular goal vs. Ottawa. (Scott Audette/Getty Images)

    By Mike McMahon

    With Opening Day in Major League Baseball just around the corner, it appears that Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos has been working on his swing.

    In the third period of the Lightning’s matchup against the Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay forward Ondrej Palat hit the crossbar, sending the puck straight up into the air. Stamkos was there to bat it into the net with Senators goaltender Robin Lehner caught as a spectator

    The goal was initially waved off by the refs for a high-stick, but further review overturned the call and tied the game at three.

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  • Published On Mar 24, 2014
  • Tampa Bay Lightning honor 2004 Stanley Cup-winning squad

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    By Darian Somers

    Several former Lightning managers, coaches and players, including ex-captain Dave Andreychuk, returned to Tampa to celebrate the 2004 Stanley Cup championship team on Monday night.

    In that epic series, the Lightning and the Calgary Flames traded wins in the first four games. After returning to Tampa for Game 5, Oleg Saprykin lifted the Flames in overtime despite the Bolts tying the score with 37 seconds left. Game 6 would go down as one of the most memorable for Tampa Bay — and painful for the Flames. Some Calgary fans, to this day, believe that Martin Gelinas scored in third period to give Calgary a lead. However, the NHL ruled the puck didn’t cross the goal line despite a somewhat convincing ABC camera angle. Later on that night, Martin St. Louis forced Game 7 with a goal 37 seconds into double OT. In Game 7, Ruslan Fedtenko played the hero, scoring twice as the Bolts edged the Flames, 2-1.

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  • Published On Mar 17, 2014
  • Ben Bishop sets new single-season wins record in Tampa Bay

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    Scott Audette/Getty Images

    Goalie Ben Bishop has posted a .929 save percentage, the third-best in the NHL. (Scott Audette/Getty Images)

    By Darian Somers

    Ben Bishop added another bullet point to his Vezina Trophy resume — the single-season Tampa Bay Lightning wins record.

    With the Bolts’ 3-0 victory over the Devils, Bishop earned his 31st win, giving him one more than previous record holder Nikolai Khabibulin, who won 30 games back in 2002-03. Bishop blanked New Jersey by turning aside 23 shots for his fifth shutout of the season.

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  • Published On Mar 16, 2014
  • Lightning announcer hints at team’s new sweater for 2014-15 season

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    By Darian Somers

    The Tampa Bay Lightning could be getting a new look next season.

    While talking about the team’s new season ticket offers during Thursday’s broadcast, Sun Sports announcer Rick Peckham mentioned that the packages will include a “new third jersey” for 2014-15.

    While the team hasn’t officially said the new jersey will replace the current third, which was introduced in 2008 and has the word “Bolts” running diagonally down the front, it has confirmed that a new one is in the pipeline, calling it “Jersey 2.0.”

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  • Published On Mar 13, 2014
  • Steven Stamkos makes return to Lightning, named team’s 10th captain

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    Steven Stamkos was named captain of a vastly different Lightning team in his return from a broken leg. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

    Steven Stamkos was named captain of a new-look team in his return from a broken leg. (Chris O’Meara/AP)

    By Darian Somers

    Many people thought that Steven Stamkos would eventually be named captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    It happened sooner than he liked.

    On Thursday night, in the wake of Martin St. Louis’s deadline day trade to the New York Rangers, Stamkos was announced as the 10th player in Lightning history to wear the team’s C, joining former linemates St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier on the franchise’s list of captains. (St. Louis had succeeded Lecavalier, who departed for Philadelphia this past offseason.)

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  • Published On Mar 06, 2014
  • Steve Yzerman pays price, trades Martin St. Louis to New York Rangers

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    Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning was traded to the New York Rangers

    Pouting his way out of Tampa Bay after his Sochi snub has stained Martin St. Louis’s reputation. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Steve Yzerman demonstrated his character and integrity when he decided not to overrule the management group decision to exclude Martin St. Louis on Team Canada’s original Sochi Olympic roster. And it cost him.

    The Lightning GM’s relationship with Tampa Bay’s captain turned toxic in the wake of that perceived snub, so much so that even the eventual inclusion of St. Louis as an injury replacement couldn’t soothe the raw feelings.

    And so Yzerman was forced on Wednesday to do the unthinkable. Faced with a star who no longer wanted to play for him, he traded the NHL’s fifth-leading scorer to the Rangers for winger Ryan Callahan and a pair of draft picks.

    DEADLINE DAY BLOG: Trade rumors and analysis | TRADE TRACKER

    It’s easy to argue that Yzerman made the best deal he could under the circumstances. St. Louis wasn’t just in full pout. He only wanted to go to one team and, having a no trade clause in his back pocket, he had the power to ensure that New York was exactly where he went.

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  • Published On Mar 05, 2014
  • Phil Esposito goes bananas over Martin St. Louis trade rumor (NSFW)

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    Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito

    Talklng a blue streak: Phil Esposito’s rant is the Hall of Famer at his unvarnished best … or worst. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Anyone who has heard Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito on Sirius/XM’s NHL Network Radio knows that he’s willing to work a little blue on occasion to make a point. It’s all part of his rough-hewed charm.

    But earlier this week, Espo found an online outlet that offered him the leeway to express himself in a less guarded fashion. And the results are certainly soiled, if not solid, gold.

    Asked for his take on the reports that Martin St. Louis will be traded to the Rangers, the former Lightning GM, who’s now an on-air Tampa Bay analyst, let loose with an expletive-filled rant, ripping the source of the rumor — New York Post writer Larry Brooks — before admitting that there might be some basis to the story. St. Louis had reportedly requested the trade after being snubbed for the Olympic by Team Canada and Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. What Esposito’s screed lacks in adherence to the Socratic Method, it makes up for with frothing vitriol.

    WARNING: Esposito’s oratory is wildly not safe for work or small children or nursing mothers. But it is pretty amusing. Listen here if you dare.


  • Published On Feb 28, 2014


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