Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin is aiming to be in the lineup for the start of the regular season, he told the Lightning website Tuesday.
Drouin sustained a slight fracture in his right thumb in a training camp practice Sept. 18 and was projected to miss 3-4 weeks. The Lightning open the regular season Oct. 9 against the Florida Panthers, which would be exactly three weeks after the injury occurred
Drouin said Tuesday he's feeling better but experiencing some pain but his goal is to be ready to face the Panthers.
"We're going in the right direction," Drouin said. "I think there's a couple more weeks [rehab] left, and I'm sure I'll be fine by then. Progress has been really good."
Goaltender Ben Bishop, coming off wrist surgery, is expected to play the entire preseason game Tuesday against the Dallas Stars, and captain Steven Stamkos will get the night off before likely playing the remaining two preseason games.