Description: Tampa Bay defenseman Radko Gudas is not expected to play Thursday due to a left leg injury.
Insight: Gudas left Sunday's game in the second period. He tried to skate before the third period but was unable to do so. His fantasy value is in the 122 penalty minutes he's amassed and not so much in the 16 points (2 goals) and 89 SOG.
Description: Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos met with doctors Wednesday and was given medical clearance to return to action Thursday against the Sabres. SOURCE: Stamkos' official Twitter
Insight: Stamkos missed 45 games with a broken tibia. He'll return to a changed landscape in Tampa Bay, as the Lightning traded longtime forward Martin St. Louis to the New York Rangers for Ryan Callahan on Wednesday. Stamkos is one of the top players in the NHL and will be able to produce with anyone, but it certainly doesn't help that he won't have St. Louis as a linemate.
Description: Lightning center Valtteri Filppula (ankle) should be able to play during Tampa Bay's four-game road trip, according to a St. Petersburg Times report.
Insight: Filppula was hoping to return Thursday after suffering a fractured ankle on Feb. 6, but he was still too sore. The 29-year-old had at least nine points in each of the first four months this season and has 41 points in 56 games this season. He's a must start when he finally returns.
Description: Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis scored a pair of goals Thursday, bringing him to 27 on the season.
Insight: St. Louis is on pace for his highest goal total since putting up 43 in 2006-27 and he's also generated 31 assists. He's shown he can still put up numbers with anyone alongside him, even with Steven Stamkos out of the lineup since Nov. 11, so fantasy owners shouldn't fear a potential trade at the deadline.
Description: Lightning center Valtteri Filppula (ankle) is not ready to return from his fractured ankle, according to tampabay.com.
Insight: Filppula was hoping to return Thursday after suffering a fractured ankle on Feb. 6, but he's still too sore. Coach Jon Cooper said Filppula is day-to-day and expects him to play at some point on the team's four-game road trip. The 29-year-old had at least nine points in each of the first four months this season.
Description: Though Steven Stamkos has already been ruled out for Tampa Bay's upcoming four-game road trip, the team is optimistic about him returning for March 6th's game against Buffalo. SOURCE: Damian Cristodero, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: Stamkos has now missed 41 games with a broken tibia. When healthy, he's one of the most explosive scorers in hockey. Fantasy owners should be preparing for his return.
Description: Lightning center Valtteri Filppula has suffered a fractured ankle and is expected to miss three weeks according to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
Insight: Obviously, Filppula won't be able to compete for Team Finland in the Sochi Olympics. Filppula (20 G, 21 A) has been consistent from month to month and fantasy owners will have a hard time replacing him. He normally plays on a line with Teddy Purcell and Alex Killorn.
Description: Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis will replace the injured Steven Stamkos on Team Canada during the Sochi Olympics.
Insight: What's baffling is that St. Louis wasn't on the team to begin with. The 38-year-old has been as consistent as anyone in hockey this season (54 points in 56 games). St. Louis registered two goals and an assist when he represented Canada at the 2006 Winter Games.
Description: Lightning center Steven Stamkos (leg) will not be able to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics, according to lightning.nhl.com.
Insight: Stamkos fractured his right tibia on Nov. 11 and had surgery the next day. He underwent a CT Scan Wednesday and wasn't cleared for game participation. Stamkos will be reevaluated in 2-3 weeks.
Description: Lightning goalie Ben Bishop is questionable for Saturday's game due to a head injury, according to tampabay.com.
Insight: Teammate Nikita Kucherov accidentally kicked Bishop in the back of the head when Bishop ventured out of the crease and dove in an attempt to knock the puck away from Mika Zibanejad Thursday night. Anders Lindback (ankle) already has been ruled out, so the Lightning may have to call up two goalies.
Description: Lightning goalie Ben Bishop left Thursday's game against the Senators with an upper-body injury and won't return.
Insight: Teammate Nikita Kucherov appeared to accidentally kick Bishop in the back of the head when Bishop ventured out of the crease and dove in an attempt to knock the puck away from Mika Zibanejad. Bishop remained face down for a minute or so before being helped off the ice.
Description: Lightning center Steven Stamkos wasn't available to practice on Monday, though he doesn't consider the absence to be a setback in his recovery from a broken tibia. SOURCE: St. Petersburg Times
Insight: Stamkos is tentatively scheduled to return sometime next week. Assuming he can stay healthy, Stamkos should be a key player for Team Canada in the upcoming Sochi Olympics.
Description: Lightning center Steven Stamkos (broken tibia) traded in the red non-contact sweater for a limited-contact yellow sweater during Saturday's practice, according to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
Insight: Stamkos (14 G, 9 A in 17 games) suffered a broken right leg on Nov. 11 at Boston. The 23-year-old has been aiming to be ready to play for Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympics and should be back in time to play a few games before the Olympics break.
Description: Tampa Bay winger Martin St. Louis is questionable for Thursday's game against Ottawa due to illness.
Insight: St. Louis missed Tuesday's practice, but it will likely take a lot more than an illness, to keep a guy riding an eight-game point streak out of the lineup. He's totaled 50 points in 50 games this season.
Description: Lightning center Steven Stamkos (broken tibia) participated in the morning skate Thursday.
Insight: Stamkos (14 G, 9 A in 17 games) suffered a broken right leg on Nov. 11 at Boston. The 23-year-old said he still hopes to be ready to play on Team Canada for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but wants to play a couple of games before then. His fantasy owners would love to see that.
Description: Lightning goalie Ben Bishop could come off injured reserve Monday night - the first day he's eligible.
Insight: He's missed three games with a sprained wrist. Bishop practiced 20 minutes on Friday. Bishop is 22-5-3, 1.86 GAA with .935 SV%. Anders Lindback has been playing in his spot while he has been on injured reserve.
Description: Lightning center Alex Killorn had three two-point performances in his last six games.
Insight: However, he also had three zero-point games in that span. After scoring a goal and picking up one assist Saturday at Philadelphia, the 24-year-old has 27 points (11 goals) in 45 games this season.
Description: Tampa Bay center Valtteri Filppula had one goal and one assist Saturday against the Flyers.
Insight: Filppula finished December with a flourish, tallying 10 points in his last seven games of the month, and he's followed it up with six points in his first six games of January. He has 18 goals and 36 points in 45 games.
Description: Lightning defenseman J.T. Brown is questionable for Saturday's game against Philadelphia with an upper body injury (shoulder).
Insight: Brown has missed Tampa Bay's last two games, but says its feeling good and could be back in the lineup for the game against the Flyers. He's not a big offensive threat with four goals and four assists in 25 games.
Description: The Lightning have placed goalie Ben Bishop on injured reserve. SOURCE: NHL.com
Insight: He's out with a sprained wrist. The best case scenario is that Bishop (22-5-3, 1.86 GAA, .935 SV%) will be able to return Tuesday versus the Flyers. Anders Lindback got the start in net Thursday against the Capitals.
Description: Lightning center Steven Stamkos (broken tibia) skated by himself for 30 minutes Monday prior to practice, according to tsn.ca. "Probably best I've felt," Stamkos said afterward. "Trying to make sure it feels better each and every time I get on the ice and today was another indication of that, so I am very pleased."
Insight: Stamkos suffered a broken right leg on Nov. 11 at Boston. The 23-year-old said he still hopes to be ready to play on Team Canada for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Description: Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop shut out the Flames with 19 saves Friday night.
Insight: Bishop not making the USA Olympic men's hockey team is a travesty. The Denver native is 22-5-3 with a 1.83 GAA, a .936 SV% and four shutouts this season. He's posted a 1.32 GAA and a .954 SV% in his last 14 games.
Description: Lightning center Steven Stamkos (broken tibia) says being ready to play for Team Canada in the Olympics "is something that is a goal of mine." SOURCE: tampabay.com
Insight: Stamkos suffered a broken right leg on Nov. 11 at Boston. The 23-year-old said he still has some minor pain and swelling, but nothing out of the ordinary. The Sochi Winter Olympics begin Feb. 7, but the hockey tournament doesn't get underway until Feb. 12.
Description: Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman scored a goal and added one helper Saturday against the Hurricanes.
Insight: Hedman has three points in two games since returning from a lower-body injury that kept him out for two weeks. The 23-year-old defenseman now has seven goals, a career high, and 18 points in 30 games.
Description: Lightning blueliner Victor Hedman (lower body) may play Thursday, according to tbo.com.
Insight: The 22-year-old former No. 2 overall pick has 15 points (six goals), 47 SOG and 23 PIM over 28 games this season after producing 20-26 points in each of his first four campaigns. He participated in a full practice Tuesday morning after missing six straight games.
Description: Tampa Bay center Valtteri Filppula scored two goals in regulation and added another during the shootout Tuesday against the Islanders.
Insight: What a night for the 29-year-old. He's done a nice job on the second line with Teddy Purcell and Alex Kilorn, producing 12 goals and 11 helpers in 34 games. Among Lightning forwards, only Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos are averaging more minutes per game than Filppula.
Description: Lightning blueliner Victor Hedman (lower body) is expected to miss at least a week, according to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
Insight: The 22-year-old former No. 2 overall pick has 15 points, 47 SOG and 23 PIM over 28 games this season after producing 20-26 points in each of his first four campaigns. He'll be reevaluated in a week.
Description: Tampa Bay right wing Martin St. Louis scored two goals Thursday against Ottawa.
Insight: St. Louis hasn't been as consistent since Steven Stamkos went down, but he has still notched five goals and 10 points in 11 games without the star center due to three multi-point games (including two three-point games) in that span.
Description: Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop left Tuesday's morning skate after being hit in the hand with a shot. Coach Jon Cooper said he believed Bishop is OK, and Bishop said the same. SOURCE: tampabay.com
Insight: Anders Lindback will start Wednesday, though he was already scheduled to make the start prior to Bishop's injury.
Description: According to tbo.com, Lightning center Steven Stamkos already has begun rehabilitation less than two weeks after undergoing surgery to insert a titanium rod in his right leg to help repair a broken tibia.
Insight: Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman said Friday that Stamkos would be out indefinitely, but it's a good sign that he's already able to move well.
Description: Lightning center Steven Stamkos (broken right tibia) has no timetable for his return.
Insight: "At this point Steven will be out indefinitely," Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman said. Stamkos is one of the league's best offensive weapons (14 G, 9 A in 17 games this season) and fantasy owners can only sit and wait patiently for a concrete schedule.
Description: Lightning center Valtteri Filppula had a big night Thursday in a win over Anaheim.
Insight: He found the net twice while also contributing his seventh assist of the season. With Steven Stamkos out, Filppula has been promoted to Tampa Bay's top line. Playing alongside Martin St. Louis should increase his fantasy value.
Description: Lightning center Steven Stamkos will undergo surgery on his broken right tibia Tuesday morning, according to lightning.nhl.com. He suffered the injury during Monday's game against Boston.
Insight: "At this point Steven will be out indefinitely," Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman said. "The medical staff in Boston, in consultation with our team physicians, has made the decision to surgically repair the injury. The procedure is expected to take place tomorrow morning. The biggest concern for me, and the rest of the Lightning, is that decisions are made in Steven's best long-term interest, and we feel this is the appropriate course of action."
Description: Tampa Bay netminder Ben Bishop is 11-2-0 after another win Saturday over Detroit.
Insight: Bishop has already matched last year's win total with an improved GAA (2.12) and SV% (.927). He's playing batter and so are the guys in front of him. He's tied for most wins with Corey Crawford and this doesn't appear to be just a short-term hot streak, it seems to be a new level of performance.
Description: After posting a -5 differential in Tampa Bay's 5-0 loss to Boston on Oct. 19, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman scored two points (1 G, 1 A) with three SOG, two PIM and a +2 Friday against Chicago.
Insight: What a turnaround. Hedman, the 2009 No. 2 overall pick, has had four straight 20-point seasons to start his career, but last season's total came in just 44 games and would have amounted to 37 points in an 82-game schedule. The 22-year-old has one goal and five points in the first nine games.
Description: Tampa Bay right wing Teddy Purcell has four goals and eight points in the first six games this season.
Insight: Purcell averaged 0.72 ppg over the last three seasons so he's probably playing a little over his head, but a spot on the top power-play line with Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone and Sami Salo is a nice position to have.
Description: Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, according to Missy Zielinski of lightning.nhl.com.
Insight: Bishop has the early lead over Anders Lindback in Tampa Bay's goalie race but his injury gives Lindback a chance to make up some ground. Lindback will likely play Saturday in a tough assignment versus the Penguins.
Description: Tampa Bay center Valtteri Filppula scored a pair of goals Thursday against the Panthers.
Insight: That gives the former Red Wing three goals and four points in four games with the Lightning. It's likely just a hot start and nothing more. Unless he finds himself on a line with Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis or joins the top power-play line, he has marginal fantasy value.
Description: Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis became the oldest player in NHL history to win the scoring title last season and he has picked up where he left off with five points in his first four games.
Insight: St. Louis, who gets most of his points via assists, already has two goals this season.
Description: Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop will draw the start Thursday against the Panthers.
Insight: Bishop has the early lead over Anders Lindback in Tampa Bay's goalie race. Bishop has saved 58 of 62 shots (.935 SV%) and picked up two straight wins after Lindback gave up three goals in a season-opening loss.
Description: Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop saved 21 of 23 shots in an overtime win at Buffalo Tuesday.
Insight: Bishop has the early lead over Anders Lindback in Tampa Bay's goalie competition. Bishop has saved 58 of 62 shots (.935 SV%) and picked up two wins after Lindback gave up three goals in a season-opening loss.
Description: The Lightning will use a compliance buyout on popular veteran center Vincent Lecavalier, according to Lightning.nhl.com. "Vinny has been a significant reason for many of our past successes, including the 2004 Stanley Cup, and his contributions to the community are immeasurable," said GM Steve Yzerman. "The Lightning organization is indebted to Vinny; we thank him for all he has done here and we wish him well as he moves forward."
Insight: Lecavalier will be eligible to sign with another team on July 5. He has been with Tampa Bay his entire career since they selected him No. 1 overall in 1998. Lecavalier won a Stanley Cup with the team in 2004.
Description: Lightning center Steven Stamkos finished second in goals to Alex Ovechkin and points to teammate Martin St. Louis this season.
Insight: Stamkos racked up 29 goals and 57 points in 48 games and has produced 185 goals and 340 points in 294 games over the last four seasons. He should be a top-two pick in fantasy drafts again next year.
Description: Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis became the oldest player to win an NHL scoring title with 60 points in 48 games this season.
Insight: Sidney Crosby would have ran away with the scoring title if he didn't get injured at the end of March, but that shouldn't take away St. Louis' huge season. The 37-year-old averaged a career-high 1.25 ppg.
Description: Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis' hat trick Wednesday against the Maple Leafs helped him overtake Sidney Crosby for the NHL points lead.
Insight: Crosby hasn't played since the end of March, so that should tell you just how big his lead was. St. Louis has 16 goals and 58 points in 46 games. Teammate Steven Stamkos, who had a goal and an assist Wednesday night, is right behind him with 56 points.
Description: Lightning netminder Ben Bishop had another nice turn Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators, his former team. He saved 31 of 33 shots in a 3-2 win.
Insight: Bishop is 2-2 with one shutout and a .944 SV% since joining Tampa Bay. Anders Lindback is reportedly getting close to a return, but it would surprise us if Bishop didn't start the majority of the remaining games.
Description: The Lightning have called up defenseman Mark Barberio and he could make his debut on Tuesday.
Insight: The 23-year-old has some solid offensive credentials with eight goals and 32 assists in 70 AHL games this season, ranking him fifth among AHL defenseman. Last season Barberio won the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s top defenseman.
Description: Tampa Bay right wing Martin St. Louis had a goal and two assists Thursday against the Hurricanes.
Insight: After some trade rumors, St. Louis ended up staying with the organization he has played for since 2000. He has nine goals and 37 assists in 36 games this season. A +3 Thursday brings him to the positive side on the season (+1).
Description: Lightning netminder Ben Bishop made 45 saves to shut out Carolina in his first start with the team.
Insight: Bishop's Tampa Bay tenure couldn't have started any better. The goaltender was acquired from Ottawa Wednesday for rookie Cory Conacher and likely will be the starter for the rest of the season.
Description: Ben Bishop is starting in net for the Lightning Thursday versus Carolina.
Insight: Bishop was acquired Wednesday from the Senators in exchange for Cory Conacher. He had a .922 SV% in 13 games with the Sens this season and likely will get an audition as the starting goal over the final few weeks of the season.
Description: Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier (foot) skated with the team on Tuesday for the first time since suffering a left foot injury on March 12. SOURCE: Tampa Tribune.
Insight: He is headed for testing to see how the bone has healed and could return for Thursday's game in Carolina. "It feels pretty good and it's progressing every day, and we'll see what the results look like,'' Lecavalier said. "It's not 100 percent. It's more lateral movements that are the issue. When I skate forward it feels really good. It's more in tight turns, stops, little things like that where you don't want to push it too much before you see where the healing is at.''
Description: The Senators have traded Ben Bishop to Tampa Bay for Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick.
Insight: Craig Anderson (ankle) is nearing a return to action, and 21-year-old Robin Lehner has outplayed Bishop recently. The acquisition of Bishop for talented rookie forward Cory Conacher could be a sign that the Lightning aren't sold on Anders Lindback, who is currently out with an ankle injury, as the long-term answer in the crease.
Description: Tampa Bay winger B.J. Crombeen is questionable for Tuesday's game against Florida with a lower body injury.
Insight: The hard-nosed winger doesn't provide enough offense for fantasy teams even on the highest scoring team in the league. He's got just seven points in 30 games, but does provide penalty minutes with 86 this season.
Description: Tampa Bay winger B.J. Crombeen is questionable for Tuesday's game against Buffalo with a lower body injury.
Insight: The hard-nosed winger doesn't provide enough offense for fantasy teams even on the highest scoring team in the league. He's got just seven points in 30 games, but does provide penalty minutes with 86 this season.
Description: Lightning rookie Tyler Johnson scored two goals Saturday against the Senators.
Insight: Johnson was called up to replace the injured Vincent Lecavalier and has three goals and six points in his first five NHL games. He was second in the AHL in scoring with 58 points
(32 G, 26 A) in 59 games at the time of his callup on March 14.
Description: Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon will start Wednesday against Toronto.
Insight: Garon won his first start back after missing nearly two weeks with a lower-body injury and Anders Lindback followed that up with a win of his own two days later. We could be looking at a hot-hand situation with Tampa Bay's netminders and an even split when both are playing well.
Description: Lightning left wing Benoit Pouliot is skating, but is still not doing anything involving contact. He's been out with a sprained right shoulder.
Insight: Pouliot has six goals and eight assists with a +7 rating this season and is a viable fantasy winger. With Vincent LeCavalie and Ryan Malone also sidelined, the Lightning scoring ability rests with the Steve Stamkos line.
Description: Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier is not with the team on their three-game road trip and is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.
Insight: He has not yet begun to skate. General manager Steve Yzerman said it was "reasonable" for Lecavalier to be out three weeks. The veteran has seven goals and 22 points in 26 games in what has been a resurgent campaign.
Description: Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon will get the start Saturday against Carolina.
Insight: Garon hasn't played since suffering a lower-body injury on March 4 at Pittsburgh. Anders Lindback posted a 1.97 GAA in his absence and should get most of the starts going forward unless he starts struggling again.
Description: Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. He has been placed on injured reserve. SOURCE: Tampa Tribune
Insight: Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman said that Lecavalier will be out more than a week. He was knocked down late in Tuesday's game and went to the bench hunched over. The veteran has seven goals and 22 points in 26 games in what has been a resurgent campaign. However, only six of those points have come over the last 11 games.
Description: Tampa Bay winger Ryan Malone has two points in two games since returning from a lower-body injury.
Insight: Malone missed a month with the injury but he had an assist in his first game back and put one in the net Satuday against the Canadiens. He's a mid-level fantasy forward in 12-team leagues when healthy.