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NHL Exhibition Recap: Lightning Play on Point Against Panthers

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Tampa Bay Lightning centre Brayden Point. Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – As the 24 participating NHL teams prepared for an unorthodox playoff approach, the exhibition games were a highly anticipated beginning, giving the guys an opportunity to have a competitive game before red robin rounds and playoff games. There seemed to be a theme for the exhibition games as teams faced off against their rivals. The Lightning exhibited versus the Florida Panthers at noon and put on quite a performance defeating the Panthers 5-0.

The top line looked sharp on the ice and very on point–pun intended–as Palat, Point, and Kucherov combined for 10 points, and more importantly, Brayden Point had a heck of an exhibition game. Prior to the COVID pause, Point was sitting at 25 goals and added two more goals to that in just the first period against Florida, playing with speed, smarts, and being quite clutch near the crease. We know Kucherov is a force to be reckoned with, especially with his speed and unique skills giving him two goals, one on a power play in the second period and one in the third period securing the Bolts a 5-0 victory. Palat contributed three assists replacing Stamkos on the top line, one of those assists to defense man Luke Schenn, helping him extend the Lightning’s lead to 4-0 with 5:13 left in the second period.

Solid performance accolades are due all around, especially to Vasilevskiy. No shock there as the big cat did what the big cat does with 26 saves in the game, a typical performance of a Vezina Trophy finalist. Panthers goalie Bobrovsky still had a game with 29 saves, but that only puts in perspective how hard the Bolts were attacking the Panthers goal. The Lightning were one of the top scoring teams before the pause and played like they planned to remain the top scoring team in the NHL. Of course, this brings hope to how Tampa Bay will play in playoffs and reopened questions pertaining to the tough sweep by the Blue Jackets, but Coach Cooper had no intention of giving the topic the time of day. The exhibition game was the perfect practice run as the Bolts set their sights on Monday’s red robin game versus the Washington Capitals.

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Kasey Hudson is the Associate Sports Editor for Florida National News. | sports@floridanationalnews.com

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Lightning Sign D Mikhail Sergachev, F Anthony Cirelli and D Erik Cernak to Eight-Year Contract Extensions

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Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, forward Anthony Cirelli and defenseman Erik Cernak each to an eight-year contract extension, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

Sergachev, 24, has skated in 362 career regular season games, 358 of them with the Lightning, notching 36 goals and 174 points. He ranks fifth all-time in Tampa Bay franchise history among defensemen for goals and scoring and fourth for assists (138). The former ninth overall pick (of Montreal) in the 2016 NHL Draft has also played in 92 postseason games and posted eight goals and 30 points. He ranks second in Lightning history among defensemen for playoff games, goals, assists (22) and scoring. Sergachev’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $8.5 million.

Cirelli, 24, has skated in 294 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, recording 66 goals and 159 points. During the 2021-22 season, Cirelli posted 17-26—43 points in 76 games played, one point shy of his career high 16-28—44 pts. from the 2019-20 season. He led Tampa Bay forwards for blocked shots (67), ranked sixth in the NHL for penalties drawn (42) and finished fifth in Selke Trophy voting in 2021-22. In postseason play, Cirelli has notched 14 goals and 34 points in 92 games, ranking 11th all-time in Lightning playoff history for scoring. Cirelli’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $6.25 million.

Cernak, 25, has skated in 226 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, posting 16 goals, 59 points and a plus-51 rating. During the 2021-22 regular season, the Kosice, Slovakia native notched a goal and 13 points and led the Lightning for hits (165) in 55 games. Cernak has played in 73 career postseason games, recording two goals and 19 points. He netted the Stanley Cup-opening goal in Game 1 of the 2021 Cup Final versus Montreal, becoming the first Tampa Bay player to net his first career playoff goal in a Stanley Cup Final. A second round selection of the Los Angeles Kings (43rd overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, Cernak was traded to the Lightning on February 26, 2017. Cernak’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $5.2 million.

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NHL: Lightning Re-Sign Forward Simon Ryfors to a One-Year, Two-Way Contract

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Simon Ryfors had two goals and an assist in the Lightning’s 5-2 win over Nashville in the opening game of the NHL Prospect Showcase Saturday afternoon at Amalie Arena. Photo: Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times.

TAMPA BAY –The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Simon Ryfors to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced.

Ryfors, 24, played in 72 games during the regular season for the Syracuse Crunch, Tampa Bay’s American Hockey League affiliate, posting 11 goals and 35 points, ranking tied for seventh on the Crunch for scoring. He also skated in five Calder Cup Playoff games with the Crunch and notched a goal, assist and a plus-four rating.

The Stockholm, Sweden native originally signed with the Lightning organization on May 12, 2021. Prior to that, he skated seven seasons with Rogle BK of the SHL, tallying 41 goals and 93 points to go along with 165 penalty minutes in 250 games. He set career bests in the SHL in 2020-21 for goals (25), assists (20) and points (45).

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Lightning Acquire F Brandon Hagel, Two 4th Round Picks from Chicago

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Forward Brandon Hagel. Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Tampa Bay Lightning // The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired forward Brandon Hagel, Chicago’s fourth-round selection in 2022 and fourth-round pick in 2024 from the Blackhawks in exchange for forwards Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk, Tampa’s first-round selection in 2023 and first-round selection in 2024, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today. Both first-round picks the Lightning are sending to Chicago are top 10 protected.

Hagel, 23, has played in 55 games so far this season for Chicago, recording 21 goals and 37 points. Hagel ranks second on the Blackhawks for goals and game-winning goals (3) and fourth for scoring and power-play goals (4). In 108 games with Chicago over three seasons, Hagel has posted 30 goals and 61 points. He made his NHL debut March 11, 2020 versus San Jose, the only game he played during the 2019-20 season. Hagel is under contract through the 2023-2024 season with a salary cap number of $1,500,000.

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