Tampa Bay Lightning

Report: Tampa Bay Lightning reopen practice facility

Report: Tampa Bay Lightning reopen practice facility

On Wednesday, Sportsnet's Chris Johnston reported that the Tampa Bay Lightning reopened their training facility for the NHL's Phase 2 voluntary workouts.

NHL.com's Amalie Benjamin later confirmed the report

Last Friday, Tampa Bay announced they closed their facility after three players and additional staff members tested positive for COVID-19 the previous day. 

Related - Report: Tampa Bay Lightning close practice facility after COVID-19 outbreak

NHL teams have been allowed to hold small group workouts with only six players on the ice at once and other restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 since Monday, June 8. Only non-contact drills are permitted at the workouts.

It was reported earlier this week that teams were allowed to expand their on-ice workouts to 12 players. 

Formal training camps for teams to prepare for the NHL's 24-team playoff format are targeted for July 10.

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Report: Tampa Bay Lightning close practice facility after COVID-19 outbreak

Report: Tampa Bay Lightning close practice facility after COVID-19 outbreak

On Friday, it was reported that several players and staff members from the Tampa Bay Lightning tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the organization to close its practice facility. 

NHL teams have been allowed to hold small group workouts with only six players on the ice at once and other restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 since Monday, June 8. Only non-contact drills are permitted at the workouts.

"It’s my understanding one NHL club has had to temporarily close its training facilities during Phase Two because multiple players and some staff have tested positive for Covid-19," TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted on Friday. 

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported the team McKenzie mentioned was the Lightning via Twitter. 

ESPN later confirmed both accounts, adding that other players and staff members who had been at the facility are also being tested. Also, Tampa Bay and the NHL will figure out how to move forward based on the results of the tests.

On Friday, Florida reported 3,822 new cases of COVID-19, a new single-day record. Additonally on Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies shut down their training facility in Clearwater, 23 miles from Tampa Bay, after five players and three staff members tested positive for the virus.

Training camp for the NHL's 24-team playoff format is being targeted for July 10. The NHL is finalizing which two teams will serve as the hub cities hosting the action.

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Blackhawks have opportunity for playoff push with late-season home stretch

Blackhawks have opportunity for playoff push with late-season home stretch

Beginning on Tuesday at the United Center against the Anaheim Ducks, 11 of the Blackhawks' final 17 games of the regular season will be played on home ice. 

After winning their last two games (both on the road), the Hawks are six points out of a playoff spot, with four teams to jump.

On Thursday, Chicago beat the dominant Tampa Bay Lightning by scoring five unanswered goals in the third period. Then, they beat a decent Panthers team 3-2 with shootout heroics from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday.

RELATED: Why Toews is ‘so clutch’ in shootouts according to Kane

"I think we’ve been playing hard," Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton said of the recent road trip. "We easily could have got a win in Dallas (1-2 loss). I thought we played really well. St. Louis game (6-5 loss), our details weren’t good enough to find a way to close that game out. 

"I think the performance was pretty good throughout the road trip. Nice that we did find a way to get the results, come home with some momentum, but now it’s up to us to continue that prior performance tonight.”

The scoring is there, Corey Crawford has been lights out, and Dominik Kubalik is being taken seriously as a Calder Trophy finalist. Those ingredients could make for the miracle run the Hawks need to get back to the postseason after missing it two straight years. Still, it will be a grueling uphill battle.

The Hawks aren't in the best position in the standings and have had trouble putting streaks together, especially at home, this season. Their record splits to 13-13-4 at the United Center and 16-15-4 on the road. 

"I think just playing [with] that road mentality we've had the last couple games here at home," Toews said of what Chicago needs to focus on in the home stretch. "I think we can think about a bunch of stretches we've had on the road where we played well, and you come home, and we're just not good enough. I think tonight's a good chance to try and change that trend.”

Toews and the rest of the team know that a lot can happen on a daily basis across the league.

"We're not out of it," Toews said. "So definitely paying attention every day."

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