Jon Cooper

Lightning coach: Everyone’s written us off, so we have nothing to lose


Listening to Lightning coach Jon Cooper and it’s clear he sees Tampa Bay as the team no one ever believed in. Now that the Lightning are down 2-0 to Montreal, he feels that opinion has intensified.

“So now you look in the room at those guys and what do we have to lose?” Cooper asked. “We’re on the road, everybody thinks we’re suppose to lose.”

For good measure, Cooper then tossed in a reference to Montreal winning Games 1 and 2 on the road against the Boston Bruins in 2011 before losing in seven games.

Taking the pressure off his team might help the Lightning, but there’s a reason why many aren’t optimistic about their chances of staging a comeback. Losing goaltender Ben Bishop (elbow) was a big blow to them after he put himself in the conversation for the Vezina Trophy with his 2.23 GAA and .924 save percentage in 63 starts.

Bishop held the Canadiens to a 0.94 GAA and .962 save percentage in four contests during the regular season. In contrast, so far goalie Anders Lindback has a 3.69 GAA and .881 save percentage in the first round.

You can watch Cooper’s full press conference below:

Game 3 will start at 7:00 p.m. ET and will air on NBCSN.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: