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Drouin in Lightning lineup for Game 2 of Final

by Arpon Basu

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin is in the lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

The rookie has played in three games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs and has no points with a minus-4 rating. He hasn't played since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Montreal Canadiens on May 7.

Drouin, the third pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, had four goals and 28 assists in 70 games during the regular season.

"I'm in for warmups, and we'll see from there," Drouin said after the morning skate. "It's exciting. I watched the first game and it was high tempo, and I expect it will be an exciting game [Saturday]."

Drouin said he's kept himself in shape waiting for this opportunity and understands the magnitude of playing in a Stanley Cup Final.

"I've been working hard in the gym and on the ice for a chance like this," Drouin said. "These are the two most skilled teams in the NHL, guys like [Tyler] Johnson, [Patrick] Kane, [Steven] Stamkos, and they are moving the puck up the ice. There is a lot of speed out there. They want to trust me in the [defensive] zone. I want to be a player that can be put in any situation."

Defenseman Nikita Nesterov was removed from the lineup with Lightning coach Jon Cooper opting to use a traditional lineup of 12 forwards and six defensemen for the first time since Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers. Tampa Bay had been using 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

Drouin, 20, played 70 games in the regular season and had four goals and 28 assists for 32 points, ranking 11th among rookie scorers.

Drouin was expected to begin the game at right wing on the fourth line with veterans Brian Boyle and Brenden Morrow.

The Blackhawks won Game 1 on Wednesday, 2-1, for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

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