Skip to main content

Lightning rookie Drouin impresses in Final debut

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin played 7:52 in his Stanley Cup Final debut, a 4-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

It was the rookie's first game since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Montreal Canadiens on May 7.

"I thought [Jonathan] was great," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "He did everything we wanted him to. He took some short shifts, which cut his ice time down a little bit. But he came into that game, and he's been prepared to play during our run here."

The 20-year-old provided some energy in seven first-period shifts that totaled 3:43, then played seven shifts during the final two periods.

"I think he came out flying," Cooper said. "The adrenaline, all that stuff, he was really fired up. But he was fine, like, I thought he played really well.

"As the game went on, you know, everybody comes back to earth a little bit, but he got pucks in, he got them out, he was flying around the ice. He had command of the puck when he had it."

Drouin was minus-1 with two shots on goal playing with veterans Brian Boyle and Brenden Morrow.

"I thought that line did very well in the first period," Cooper said. "Then special teams and things took over. It was harder to get guys out.

"I thought he did a heck of a job."

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

Defenseman Nikita Nesterov was scratched with the Lightning using 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.

Cooper did not say if Drouin would play in Game 3 at United Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1.

View More