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Lightning forward Johnson could play vs. Hurricanes

by Kurt Dusterberg /

LIGHTNING (30-14-4) at HURRICANES (16-25-5)


RALEIGH, N.C. -- Tampa Bay Lightning leading scorer Tyler Johnson participated in the morning skate Tuesday, but he will be a game-time decision against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Johnson aggravated a lower-body injury in Tampa Bay's 4-1 road win against the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 20.

"You can't really read too much into [the morning skate] though," said Johnson, who has 48 points through 46 games. "When I practiced [Monday], it was more about getting my hands working again. Today was a little bit better, but it's still just a pregame skate. It's tough to do any game-type stuff."

With 64 points, Tampa Bay has a one-point lead on the Detroit Red Wings in the Atlantic Division. Still, Lightning coach Jon Cooper is cautious about his team after the All-Star break.

"I'm sure it's the same for every coach in the League," Cooper said. "Everybody got the same amount of time off. I'm sure all 29 of the other coaches thought the same thing after they got out of that practice: Wow, are we in trouble the next night."

The Hurricanes will go with the same lineup that earned back-to-back road wins against the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. That means Alexander Semin will be a healthy scratch for the third straight game. Semin, who has one goal in 26 games, has missed 15 of the past 20. Peters measured his words carefully when asked about having one of his top forwards sitting out.

"It's not frustrating for me," Peters said. "We just play the guys who dig in and work and play with speed in both directions. It's not hard. Obviously, something is not right. Talk is cheap though, right? You can talk or you can play. Show me."

Here are the projected lineups:


Valtteri Filppula - Steven Stamkos - Ryan Callahan

Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Alex KillornCedric PaquetteJonathan Drouin

Brenden MorrowBrian BoyleBrett Connolly

Andrej SustrVictor Hedman

Nikita NesterovJason Garrison

Mark Barberio - Anton Stralman

Ben Bishop

Evgeni Nabokov

Scratched: J.T. Brown, Luke Witkowski

Injured: Radko Gudas (knee surgery), Matthew Carle (abdominal surgery)


Eric Staal - Jordan Staal - Jiri Tlusty

Nathan Gerbe - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm

Jeff Skinner - Riley Nash - Chris Terry

Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore

Tim Gleason - Ryan Murphy

Anton Khudobin

Cam Ward

Scratched: Alexander Semin, Andrej Nestrasil, John-Michael Liles

Injured: None

Status report: Murphy was in transit Tuesday morning after the American Hockey League All-Star Game in Utica, N.Y., and did not arrive in time for the morning skate. Peters said Murphy was expected to be in Raleigh well ahead of game time Tuesday.

Who's hot: Bishop has won three straight starts ... Callahan has three goals and five points in his past six games ... Khudobin has won five straight starts ... Malone has scored in two straight games.

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