Tampa Bay Lightning

Best of NHL: Stamkos scores for 1st time in 11 months in Lightning win

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Best of NHL: Stamkos scores for 1st time in 11 months in Lightning win

TAMPA, Fla. -- Steven Stamkos scored his first goal since having right knee surgery last November and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4 on Thursday night.

Stamkos made it 3-1 with a power-play goal at 3:49 of the second period from the low left circle. The Lightning star previously scored Nov. 15th at Detroit, the same game that he had a season-ending lateral meniscus tear in the knee.

Stamkos entered with five assists in three games this season.

Slater Koekkoek got his first two NHL goals, and Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning. Alex Killorn had four assists, while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves.

Pittsburgh got goals from Jake Guentzel, Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust and Matt Hunwick. Antti Niemi, who allowed four goals on 13 shots over 9:16 against Chicago on Oct. 5 in his Penguins debut, stopped 29 shots (see full recap).

Luongo rises on wins list as Panthers top Blues
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Roberto Luongo moved into a tie for fourth on the NHL career victory list with 474, making 37 saves to help the Florida Panthers beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Thursday night.

The 38-year-old Luongo is tied with Curtis Joseph on the career list.

Vincent Trocheck scored the go-ahead goal, Ian McCoshen had his first NHL goal, and Jared McCann, Aaron Ekblad and Nick Bjugstad also connected for Florida.

Paul Stastny and Vince Dunn -- also with his first career goal -- countered for St. Louis. Jake Allen stopped 33 shots in the Blues' first loss in five games this season.

Trocheck put the Panthers ahead 2-1 with a short-handed goal at 2:45 of the second period. Trocheck skated in on a breakaway and shot over Allen's glove. It was the first time the Blues trailed since the first period in their opener at Pittsburgh (see full recap).

Girard scores 1st goal as Predators top Stars
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Samuel Girard scored his first NHL goal and added an assist to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.

Filip Forsberg and P.K. Subban also had a goal and an assist, and Viktor Arvidsson also scored for the Predators, winners of two straight. Pekka Rinne made 30 saves.

Jamie Benn had Dallas' lone goal. The Stars have lost three of four to open the season.

Benn scored the game's first goal at 8:04 of the opening period. With Dallas on a power play, Rinne stopped John Klingberg's shot from the left point, but Benn was able to swat in the rebound from just outside the crease on the right side.

Nashville has surrendered the first goal in three of its four games.

Girard evened the game at 1 at 3:27 of the second. From above the left faceoff circle, Subban slid a pass to the 19-year-old rookie at the right point, where he beat goaltender Ben Bishop with a one-timer high to the stick side.

The 19-year-old Girard was playing his second NHL game. The Quebec native was a second-round pick in 2016.

Bishop made 27 saves (see full recap).

NHL Notes: Lightning re-sign Ondrej Palat to 5-year, $26.5 million deal

NHL Notes: Lightning re-sign Ondrej Palat to 5-year, $26.5 million deal

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman completed his offseason to-do list by signing "model player" Ondrej Palat to a $26.5 million, five-year deal.

The Lightning and Palat avoided arbitration and settled on the contract Friday. The Czech left winger will count $5.3 million against the salary cap through the 2021-22 season.

The 26-year-old Palat had 17 goals and 35 assists in 75 games last season. He has 74 goals and 144 assists in 307 NHL games and is considered one of the better defensive wingers in hockey.

"His value is probably greater than if you just look at the goals and assists," Yzerman said by phone. "He's really a complete player. He plays in all situations for us, and he's very effective in all situations. Whether we're on the power play, killing a penalty, 5-on-5, we're up a goal, down a goal, late in the game it's tied -- he's going to be in in all those situations, and he plays really hard" (see full story).

Devils: Hischier not fazed by being No. 1 pick
NEWARK, N.J. -- At the end of the second of three practice sessions Friday at the New Jersey Devils' development camp, top overall pick Nico Hischier, was on his hands and knees, scooping up pucks, just like everyone else.

The novelty of being the No. 1 draft pick is rapidly wearing off for Hischier, thanks to the three-day developmental camp at the Barnabas Health Hockey House, the Devils' practice facility next to the Prudential Center.

"Right after the draft, I was living the life a little," said the 18-year-old Swiss player who had 38 goals and 48 assists last season for the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. "I was doing all these fun things, like going to a baseball game and a soccer game. I was in Times Square and was on television. But now, I'm here and I'm working hard on the ice."

Hischier doesn't want special treatment.

"I don't want to be known as the guy who didn't pick the pucks up," Hischier said. "I'm still one of the younger guys here. I want to fit in. I'm going to focus on that" (see full story).

Kings: Gravel avoids arbitration with 1-year deal
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings re-signed Kevin Gravel to a one-year, $650,000 contract extension Friday, avoiding arbitration with the restricted free agent defenseman.

The Kings also signed restricted free agents Justin Auger, Andrew Crescenzi, Zachary Leslie, Kurtis MacDermid and Michael Mersch.

Gravel broke through as an NHL regular last season, scoring seven points in 49 games while getting a steadily increasing role on the power play. He scored his first and only NHL goal Feb. 23 against Boston.

Gravel filed for arbitration earlier this month after receiving a qualifying offer from Los Angeles. He was the Kings' only remaining restricted free agent who logged significant time in the NHL last year.

Auger, Crescenzi, Leslie, MacDermid and Mersch are all regulars with the Kings' AHL affiliate in Ontario.

NHL Notes: Canadiens acquire Jonathan Drouin in blockbuster deal with Lightning

NHL Notes: Canadiens acquire Jonathan Drouin in blockbuster deal with Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning got the young defenseman they have been looking for, acquiring Mikhail Sergachev from the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday in exchange for highly skilled forward Jonathan Drouin.

The teams announced the deal about 48 hours before the NHL's trade freeze prior to the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft. Along with Sergachev, Tampa Bay gets a conditional 2018 second-round pick and Montreal a 2018 conditional sixth-rounder.

The 22-year-old Drouin set career highs last season with 21 goals, 32 assists and 53 points, and is a pending restricted free agent. He has had a rocky tenure with the Lighting since being the third pick in 2013, asking for a trade in 2015-16 and coming back to play a prominent role this past season in the absence of injured captain Steven Stamkos.

By trading Drouin, Tampa Bay can protect an extra forward in the expansion draft and has more salary-cap space moving forward with other players in need of new deals.

Sergachev, who turns 19 next week, was the ninth pick in the 2016 draft. Considered one of the top defensive prospects in hockey, the Russian had 10 goals and 33 assists for 43 points with the Ontario Hockey League's Windsor Spitfires this past season and was a point-a-game player as they won the Memorial Cup (see full story).

Sabres: Housley named head coach
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Phil Housley still remembers high-fiving Sabres fans at Memorial Auditorium in opening his Hall of Fame career in Buffalo during the 1980s.

Now, Housley is looking forward to bringing that type of excitement back to Buffalo -- this time as the Sabres head coach.

Some 35 years to the day since the then-18-year-old was selected by the Sabres with the No. 6 pick in the NHL draft, Housley is being asked to instill relevance to a franchise coming off its latest offseason house-cleaning.

"Looking back, I didn't realize how passionate the people are here," Housley said during his introductory news conference. "And I'd like to get that passion back as a head coach" (see full story).

Hurricanes: Teravainen signs 2-year deal
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes and forward Teuvo Teravainen have agreed to terms for a two-year deal worth more than $5.7 million.

The Hurricanes announced the deal Thursday, exactly a year after that they acquired the 22-year-old Teravainen in a trade with Chicago. He will earn $2.86 million in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

Teravainen had 15 goals and 27 assists in 81 games last season, all career highs. He was also second among Hurricanes skaters with 15 power-play points.

In a statement, Carolina general manager and executive vice president Ron Francis said Teravainen is "an important part of what we are building here."

The Hurricanes also announced that assistant general manager Mike Vellucci will coach the Charlotte Checkers, the team's American Hockey League affiliate.