In a season marked by key injuries, the Tampa Bay Lightning were one of the surprises to come out of the Eastern Conference in 2013-14. The Bolts managed to shock the Atlantic Division with a second-place finish, despite losing superstar Steven Stamkos to a broken tibia for over half the season and dealing captain Martin St. Louis to the Rangers at the trade deadline. A dislocated elbow suffered by goalie Ben Bishop just prior to the postseason turned out to be the one hurdle the Lightning couldn’t overcome, eventually falling to the Habs in four-straight in the first round without the six-foot-seven netminder between the pipes. With Stamkos and Bishop now healthy, GM Steve Yzerman spent his summer bringing veteran experience to Tampa, notably with forwards Brian Boyle and Brenden Morrow to spark the Lightning offense, and goalie Evgeni Nabokov as an insurance policy in the crease. On defense, Victor Hedmen will be joined by fellow Swede Anton Stralman while veteran Jason Garrison brings some key depth to the Lightning blue line.
(D) Anton Stralman, (D) Jason Garrison, (C) Brian Boyle, (LW) Brenden Morrow, (G) Evgeni Nabokov
(RW) Teddy Purcell, (G) Anders Lindback, (RW) B.J. Crombeen, (C) Nate Thompson, (LW) Ryan Malone, (C) Tom Pyatt, (D) Mike Kostka, (D) Keith Aulie
46-27-9, 101 PTS
3rd in the East
Ondrej Palat (81 GP, 23 G, 36 A, 59 PTS)
Valtteri Filppula (75 GP, 25 G, 33 A, 58 PTS)
Victor Hedman (75 GP, 13 B, 42 A, 55 PTS)