The Tampa Bay Lightning might be hobbling into the playoffs a bit, but one big, important player is back on Thursday night. Victor Hedman will play against the New Jersey Devils tonight, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith.
Hedman is returning from his second troublesome injury of the 2014-15 season, as he’s been sidelined since March 30.
The Lightning have done an admirable job putting together wins even with significant injuries seemingly occurring left and right. Getting Hedman back – maybe even getting both of Tampa Bay’s remaining two games under his belt, depending upon how things shake out – is almost as enormous as the sizable Swede.
Tampa Bay needs some help in chasing Montreal for the Atlantic Division crown. The Habs face the hungry Detroit Red Wings without Tom Gilbert tonight because of an upper-body injury, so consider that another advantage for the Lightning.
Tyler Johnson scored 1:03 into overtime as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 Tuesday night.
Johnson’s shot deflected off of Habs’ defenseman Tom Gilbert and past Carey Price.
With the win, Tampa (42-20-6) has now won four straight and moved to within one point of Montreal (42-18-7) for top spot in the Atlantic Division.
Ben Bishop made 19 saves for his third shutout, but the story of the night was Price.
The Canadiens starter made 35 saves in the loss. The shot attempts in the game were 75-38 in favor of the Lightning.
One of Price’s bigger saves came midway through the third. He stopped Alex Killorn on the original shot and then reached out to stop Ryan Callahan on the rebound.
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With the Habs failing to score in the loss, the agent for P. A. Parenteau felt like he had a solution.
Tampa played the third period without forward Ondrej Palat, who left the game late in the second period after blocking a shot. The team called it a lower body injury.
The Lightning have won the first three meetings in the season series between the two clubs. They’ll meet again on March 16 in Tampa.
Related: Bolts admit ‘there’s a lot at stake’ tonight in Montreal
The Montreal Canadiens struck first on trade deadline day by acquiring defenseman Jeff Petry from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a 2015 second-round selection and a conditional 2015 fifth-round pick.
That second pick will become a fourth rounder if Montreal wins its first-round series and a third-rounder if the Canadiens make it to the Eastern Conference Final, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.
Petry is being brought in after blueliner Alexei Emelin sustained a shoulder injury on Feb. 18 that might keep him on the sidelines for another couple weeks. Once Emelin`s healthy, Montreal will have a deep defensive group that also includes Sergei Gonchar and Tom Gilbert and is led by P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov.
Petry has four goals and 15 points in 59 contests and has logged 20:57 minutes per game with Edmonton in 2014-15. The 27-year-old has been used in both power play and penalty killing situations. He also ranks near the bottom of the league with a minus-25 rating and Edmonton`s Fenwick percentage is roughly the same when he`s on or off the ice.
He`s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The defenseman comes with a cap hit of just under $3.1 million annually.