Drouin, Subban face each other at Florida tournament

Friday, 09.06.2013 / 7:00 PM
Alain Poupart  - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin was held off the score sheet Friday in the first game of the prospect tournament at the Florida Panthers' practice facility, but he said he was happy with his effort.

"It went pretty well," Drouin said. "It was all right, just a normal game. It was getting used to the players. It's kind of hard. It's pretty chippy out there. It's a good first game to get the legs. It's going to be better tomorrow."

Playing on a line with Tanner Richard and J.T. Brown, Drouin at times showed the playmaking ability that helped him become the third pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, but he failed to score a goal or an assist in a 5-5 tie against the Boston Bruins.

Drouin then took a turn in a five-player shootout, which will follow every game of the round-robin tournament this weekend. Drouin used a deke to his backhand but his shot was way wide.

"I thought he looked good out there," Lightning assistant general manager Julien Brisebois said. "All our guys looked pretty good today. It's the first game. No one is reading much into these games. I thought Jonathan, pretty much like everyone else, did good. He worked hard and we look forward to seeing him play the next two days as well."

The game Friday came three days after Drouin skated with some teammates in Tampa, after which he admitted to being nervous being on the same ice as Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis.

Drouin said there was no nervousness Friday but definitely some excitement at wearing the Tampa Bay jersey for a game for the first time.

"It's fun to put it on," he said. "You got drafted and now [we're] at that stage of putting it on in games, so it's pretty special."

The individual standout in the game Friday was Boston forward Maxime Villemaire, whose two goals gave the Bruins a 5-3 lead in the third period.

Tampa Bay tied the game with 58 seconds left on a power-play goal by Richard with an extra attacker on the ice. Adam Erne, Nikita Kucherov, Danick Gauthier and Dan Milan also scored for the Lightning.

Anthony Camara, Zach Trotman and Alexander Khoklachev had the other Boston goals.

Malcolm Subban, the Bruins' first-round pick (No. 24) in 2012 and the younger brother of Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban, made 28 saves, the same total as Lightning goalie Kristers Gudlevskis.

Subban made some spectacular saves during the game but also allowed a couple of soft goals.

"[It was] all right, I guess," Subban said. "Pretty rusty. Obviously you're not too happy when you let in five goals. It was the first game, so I can't be too hard on myself, but obviously a little rusty, but I thought I made a lot of nice saves as well."

One of Subban's memorable stops came against Drouin in the first period after the Tampa Bay forward got the puck at the side of the net.

"He made some very athletic saves," said Bruce Cassidy, the Providence Bruins coach who is in charge of the prospect team this weekend. "He tracked pucks very well from the point. There's a couple from the slot I'm sure he'd like back where he was a little leaky, but all in all he played well. I thought both goalies did. Let's face it, it was a pretty offensive game; good, quality chances, especially with all of the power plays."

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