Insider: Morning Skate Report; Cory Conacher Living A Dream

Cory Conacher has been in Tampa for just under two weeks. In that time, he has made the NHL roster, and become one of the most exciting rookies in the NHL. He has scored, been on the power play, and consistently been on a scoring line since he arrived in Tampa.

With everything that has gone on for Conacher, it has to be catching up to him a bit, right?

“A little bit,” Conacher said. “It’s a kid’s dream to be where I am right now. It’s so surreal just to be able to play with guys like Marty St. Louis, a guy I use to call out in mini sticks back when I was a little kid. Obviously, Lecavalier too, and Purcell and Stamkos. There are a lot of weapons on this team that it’s very exciting to play with. I have to give a lot of credit to them for my success so far this season and these last three games as well. “

With the Lightning set to kick off a five game home stand tonight against the Ottawa Senators, what does Conacher need to do to continue the good run he has had to open up the season?

“Keep driving the net,” Conacher said. “Keep skating well, and backchecking hard and forchecking hard and doing the little things that coaches are looking for and the little things that will help the teams out.  I’m not going to try to change my game to be a skilled sit back guy. I like driving the net, I like moving my feet. I just have to keep doing that and hopefully it will work out for me.

Even with the Lightning set to kick off what will be their longest home stand of the season tonight, the focus is not on all the games, but instead on an Ottawa team that has played extremely well out of the gate to kick off the season.

“We like to take it one game at a time,” Conacher said.  “It’s going to be important for us to get the first one tonight against Ottawa. They are a team that is hot right now, I think they are 3-0, and they don’t allow many goals. We are just going to have to put as many pucks on net and crash the net as hard as we can, because he is a good goalie and we are just going to have to do the little things that help us win.  Obviously it’s nice to be home for a week, or a couple weeks, or whatever it is. These fans are great. They were great the first night and hopefuly we can get some more wins for them, but it starts with tonight. Hopefully we can get off to a good start and win the first five minutes and go from there.”

Goaltending matchup:

Anders Lindback will get the start for the Lightning. This will be his first career start against Ottawa. The Senators will start Ben Bishop. Bishop won his only start against the Lightning, which was the first start of his career. It is the first start of the season for Bishop.

1000 games:

Prior to tonights game, the Lightning will honor Vincent Lecavalier for skating in his 1000th NHL game last Monday against the New York Islanders.

Lighting the lamp:

The Lightning currently ranks first in the Eastern Conference and 5th in the NHL in goals scored with 13 through the first three games.