October 01, 2014

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

LAST SEASON: 46-27-9, 101 points. Swept in first round of playoffs by Montreal.

COACH: Jon Cooper, second full season with Lighting, 51-35-12.

ADDED: F Brian Boyle, F Brenden Morrow, D Anton Stralman, D Jason Garrison, G Evgeni Nabokov, F Jonathan Drouin.

LOST: G Anders Lindback, F Ryan Malone, F Teddy Purcell, F Nate Thompson, D Sami Salo.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Ondrej Palat. One of the NHL's top rookies last season. With Steven Stamkos missing a significant portion of the year and Martin St. Louis departing in a late-season trade, Palat finished with team-leading 50 points, including 23 goals. Third among league rookies in goals and second in points, he led all rookies with 44 points after Jan. 1.

OUTLOOK: With Bishop healthy again after missing the playoffs with a dislocated elbow, many expect the Lightning to prosper in the relatively weak Eastern Conference and make a deep run in the playoffs. Stamkos has scored more goals (210) than any player in the league since the start of the 2009-10 season and Bishop is coming off a season in which he set franchise season records for wins (37), save percentage (.924) and goals-against average (2.23).

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