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Johnson in lineup for Lightning in Game 2

by Chris Stevenson

MONTREAL -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will have leading Stanley Cup Playoffs goal scorer Tyler Johnson in the lineup Sunday as they try to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Johnson participated in the Lightning’s morning skate Sunday. He scored his seventh goal in the Lightning's 2-1 win in double overtime in Game 1 on Friday, which leads the League. He went to the Tampa Bay dressing room in the third period and missed a few shifts after getting involved with Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher.

Johnson was called for holding on the play and was cross-checked by Gallagher. It also appeared a puck shot by Gallagher hit Johnson in the helmet.

Johnson returned to the game and played 10 shifts in the first overtime.

The Lightning are 6-0-0 against the Canadiens this season. They led the NHL with 30 home regulation/overtime wins during the regular season, so taking a 2-0 series lead on the road could present the Canadiens with a difficult challenge.

Not that Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper sees it that way.

"We're not hanging our hats that when we go back to Amalie Arena it's a given we're going to win all those games there," he said. "You're probably going to have to win another game on the road to win this series and so the faster you can do it, the better."

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is looking for his first goal of the playoffs, but Cooper said Stamkos' value to the Lightning goes beyond just goals.

"He's just not a goal scorer. He can play 200 feet of the ice," Cooper said. "Scoring is way down. It's been well documented. Nobody's really scoring in these playoffs. Is this a little unusually long for him to go without a goal? Sure it is, but he's had his chances. He's up there leading our team in shots and doing other things. They just haven't gone in for him yet. Eventually they will. We just don't have him out on the ice because he's a goal scorer. The kid can play hockey.

"The spotlight is on him to score goals and when he doesn't, alarms start going off. But not with us."

Stamkos is tied for eighth in shots in the playoffs with 25.

Dating to the final game of the regular season, Stamkos has not scored in nine games. It is his longest drought since he went 11 games without a goal from Dec. 2-26, 2008, his rookie season in the NHL.

Forward Brian Boyle said the goals are going to come for Stamkos.

"He's our captain. He's been good on draws, he's been playing a physical game, he's been playing our system. He's the leader of our team," Boyle said.

"He wants to score goals, obviously. He's assisted on a few and he's helped drive the offense. Teams are still aware of him. I guarantee every shift he's out on the ice, Montreal is going to know it. They're going to play him hard. From here on out, he’s going to be closely watched. He has been probably the last few years of his career, anyway. He understands that. We expect him to keep doing what he's doing. We know he's going to put the puck in the net."

Here are the projected lineups:


Ondrej PalatTyler JohnsonNikita Kucherov

Alex KillornSteven StamkosRyan Callahan

Brian BoyleValtteri FilppulaCedric Paquette

Brenden MorrowVladislav NamestnikovJ.T. Brown

Victor HedmanAnton Stralman

Jason GarrisonBraydon Coburn

Matthew CarleAndrej Sustr

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Mark Barberio, Jonathan Drouin, Nikita Nesterov

Injured: Mattias Ohlund (knee)


Max PaciorettyTomas PlekanecBrendan Gallagher

Alex GalchenyukDavid DesharnaisDale Weise

Brandon PrustLars EllerPA Parenteau

Jacob De La RoseTorrey MitchellDevante Smith-Pelly

Andrei MarkovP.K. Subban

Alexei EmelinJeff Petry

Tom GilbertGreg Pateryn

Carey Price

Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Brian Flynn, Manny Malhotra, Mike Weaver, Sergei Gonchar, Mike Condon

Injured: Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)

Status report: Cooper said he expects Drouin to get an opportunity to play in this series. The rookie has played one game in the playoffs. … Cooper dressed seven defensemen against the Detroit Red Wings in the First Round, but opted for six in Game 1 against Montreal. He said the strategy could change as the series progresses.

Who's hot: Johnson has three goals in his past three games. … Kucherov has a goal and three assists in his past three games.

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