Tag: Mathieu Garon

Ryan Malone

Bolts injury bits: Garon’s issue isn’t serious, Malone nears return

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With a dispiriting 3-11-0 record since February began, the Tampa Bay Lightning need all the good news they can get. Luckily, they did indeed receive some solid injury updates on Tuesday.

For one thing, veteran backup Mathieu Garon told the Tampa Tribune that his injury isn’t significant.

“It’s not major; I’m day-to-day and I feel better today and hopefully I’m OK,” Garon said. “I’ll need to test it on the ice and, in a couple of days, hopefully I’ll be good.”

Another positive: the 35-year-old goalie said that his lower-body issue isn’t the same torn groin that ended his 2011-12 season.

That same report indicates that rugged winger Ryan Malone isn’t far from coming back for the Bolts. In fact, he might even play on Thursday (vs. Winnipeg) or Saturday (against Montreal). Here’s head coach Guy Boucher’s update:

“He’s getting closer and closer,” Boucher said. “He (had) a very tough practice (Tuesday) morning and we are waiting to hear from it.”

Malone, 33, has been sidelined since Feb. 10 with a lower-body injury.

Penguins win in Evgeni Malkin’s strong return


If there was any concern about Evgeni Malkin being rusty in his surprising return from a concussion, he erased those doubts with gusto on Monday.

After missing four games, the 26-year-old star scored a goal and an assist in a great return as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. As you can see from the video below, his tally was a genuine beauty:

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Yup, he looks pretty healthy. Malkin finished with five shots on goal, went 7-5 in the faceoff circle and logged just under 21 minutes of ice time.

Star power was the story of the game, overall. Sidney Crosby also had a great game with a goal and an assist of his own while Steven Stamkos bumped his league-leading goals total to 17 with two tallies.

Tampa Bay is now on a five-game losing streak and only has four victories since Feb. 1 (4-11-1 in 16 games). Mathieu Garon’s injury can’t make the Bolts feeling any better, either.

Bolts’ Lindback replaces injured Garon in net


Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback lost his grip on the starting job – at least temporarily – after a rough game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 24. He’ll get a chance to reestablish himself against that same team tonight thanks to Mathieu Garon’s injury.

It’s too early to tell how severe Garon’s issue might be. Garon appeared to hurt himself while making a post-to-post save early in the second period.

Lightning head coach Guy Boucher just told Pierre McGuire that they’re playing it safe with the 35-year-old veteran, which likely means that Lindback will stay in net on Monday.

Lindback, 24, has a 7-4-1 record but bad individual stats (.890 save percentage, 3.27 GAA) so far in 2013. You can judge his work for yourself as the Bolts face the Penguins on NBC Sports Network as of this writing.

Boucher on slumping Bolts: ‘We have to find a way not to sabotage ourselves’

Guy Boucher Getty

The Tampa Bay Lightning are just 3-10-1 over their last 14 and now sit 13th in the Eastern Conference, a startling fall for a team that started the year 6-1-0, outscoring opponents 37-18.

Head coach Guy Boucher is trying to stay positive during the slump, but also wants to keep it real (so to speak).

Specifically, by telling his troops they’re keeping themselves from being successful.

“We have to find a way not to sabotage ourselves,” Boucher told the Tampa Bay Tribune. “Because that’s what we have been doing and it’s hard because I would love to be able to teach some of that stuff but they are just decisions at moments that cost us.”

The Lightning have failed to earn a point over their last four games, a stretch that’s coincided with Mathieu Garon taking the starting goalie gig from Anders Lindback.

Garon has been the goalie of record in Tampa Bay’s last five games, due in large part to the inexperienced Lindback learning on the job — a process that’s come with some bumps and bruises.

“[Lindback] has to go through the process,” Boucher told the Tribune prior to making the switch to Garon. “You can’t buy a process, because if you buy the process, everybody would be great. It’s just the process of time and experience, it’s mistakes, it’s correcting and it’s preparation.

“That’s what it is, right now for him he’s going through the exact process all young goalies have to go through.”

Looking ahead, the next two weeks could make or break Tampa’s season entirely. The last real solid homestand of the season begins on Mar. 7 — the Bolts play five of six at home from the 7th to 18th.

That’s important, because the Lightning will play eight of their final 13 regular season games on the road.

NHL on NBCSN: Stamkos, Crosby collide in Penguins-Lightning match

Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins take a face-off at Consol Energy Center on November 12, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(November 11, 2010 - Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America)

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Consol Energy Center at 7:30 p.m. ET.

If there’s one thing these two teams have excelled at this season, it’s finding the back of the net. Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh rank first and second respectively in goals per game and only one other team, the Anaheim Ducks, even comes close to matching these two offensive titans.

Of course, it helps that Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay also have the top two offensive threats in the league.

Sidney Crosby, with his concussion problems behind him, has only been held off the scoresheet in five of Pittsburgh’s 22 games. He leads the league in points with 34 and has an incredible 27 points in his last 15 contests.

Steven Stamkos is slightly behind Crosby in total points, but there has been no goal scorer more effective than Stamkos this season. The 23-year-old forward has found the back of the net in seven of his last eight games and leads the league with 15 goals in just 21 contests. If this were a full 82-game campaign, then that pace would put Stamkos just shy of his second straight 60-goal campaign.

While Stamkos and Crosby can be counted as elites, only one of their respective teams deserves the same level of praise. The Pittsburgh Penguins rank second in the Eastern Conference while the Tampa Bay Lightning hold the 13th seed with a 9-11-1 record.

After goaltending issues sunk Tampa Bay last season, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman made a major effort to address that need over the summer. The centerpiece of those efforts was his acquisition of Anders Lindback from the Nashville Predators.

24-year-old Lindback had been a solid backup for the Predators for a couple years and seemed ready to take the next step. However, so far he’s struggled and appears to have at least temporarily lost the starting gig to Mathieu Garon, who will make his fourth straight start tonight, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Damian Cristodero.

Unfortunately for the Lightning, Garon has a 1-4-0 record with a 4.28 GAA in six career games against the Penguins.

Tampa Bay is hungry to end their four-game losing streak, but Pittsburgh isn’t a team that can be easily overwhelmed through offensive might alone. Garon and the Lightning’s defense will need to step up to the daunting task of trying to contain Crosby and the Penguins.

Probable goaltenders: TBL – Garon (2-7-0, 2.86 GAA, .911 SV%) | PIT – Marc-Andre Fleury (10-5-0, 2.40 GAA, .912 SV%)

Top scorers: TBL – Stamkos (15-17-32, 21 GP) | PIT – Crosby (10-24-34, 22 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Tampa Bay – Forwards: Benoit Pouliot (upper body), Ryan Malone (lower body) Defensemen: Mattias Ohlund (knee), Sami Salo (lower body)
Pittsburgh – Forwards: Evgeni Malkin (concussion) Defensemen: Paul Martin (lower body)