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Eastern Conference

Lightning Advance To Eastern Conference Final For 3rd Time In 4 Years

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have done something impressive, advancing to the Eastern Conference Final for the third time in four seasons with a 3-1 series clinching win against the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

Tampa Bay is the eighth team in the past 20 years to clinch a berth in the Conference Final three times in a four-season span.

Tampa Bay will now face the the winner of the Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals second-round series.

“It’s good but it will be gratifying if we win two more series,” Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said (h/t NHL.com). “We’ve been here before so the shock and awe of really getting this far really isn’t there. We are happy with our first two series, but there is so much more work to do and we realize that.”

Tampa Bay will now focus on rest as they await their next round opponent.

“We won four in a row, I don’t think it has anything to do with our mindset other than we got over a hill, we needed to do to beat the Boston Bruins, who I can’t say enough that they’re an exceptional hockey team” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

“But it just gives us rest. There’s some banged up bodies in there. That’s what happens when you go through playoff rounds. Anything you get the rest, not only the body but also the mind, it’s huge for us.”

Eastern Conference

Lightning Shopping Slater Koekkoek

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping defenseman, and former first round pick, Slater Koekkoek, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Tampa Bay is now motivated to trade away their once prized prospect, who is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint.

Koekkoek is waiver eligible and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2019.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky Will Not Dress Due To Team Incident

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that veteran goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not dress for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to what is being described as an “incident”.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated the following:

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

In corresponding moves, the Blue Jackets has recalled Jean-Francois Berube, and placed both Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Hannikainen on injured reserve.

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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Frederik Andersen Targeting Saturday Return

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Frederik Andersen said that he is eyeing the team’s upcoming game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday to make his return to the ice.

Andersen was placed on injured reserve on January 3rd, retroactive to December 23rd, and hasn’t played since December 22nd.

Despite his goal of a Saturday return, Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock is looking towards Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche as the best time for his return.

Babcock pours a little cold water on Andersen’s reveal, saying it might be Monday vs. Colorado. Hmmm…— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) January 9, 2019

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