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Lightning's Johnson possible, Drouin out vs. Bruins

by Corey Long

BRUINS (5-3-1) at LIGHTNING (5-4-2)


TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson remains questionable for the game Saturday against the Boston Bruins at Amalie Arena.

Johnson took part in an optional morning skate after missing practice Friday with what was described as a maintenance day.

"We'll see tonight," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said when asked about Johnson's status.

The Lightning will be without forwards Jonathan Drouin and Cedric Paquette. Drouin will miss his second straight game with a lower-body injury; Paquette has an ankle injury.

Tampa Bay did not make a roster move to call up another forward from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. Forward Jonathan Marchessault was summoned earlier in the week.

The Lightning have struggled to score goals and are 0-2-1 in their past three games, including a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. Tampa Bay has one goal in those three games.

Forwards Ondrej Palat and Valtteri Filppula each had a breakaway chance against Colorado and failed to score.

"We are trying hard but it's just not going in," Palat said. "Everything's bouncing, it's frustrating. We have to just stick with it, that's the only thing I can say."

The Bruins are having no such problems, especially on the power play, where they lead the NHL at 35.5 percent. They went 2-for-3 in a 3-1 win Friday against the Florida Panthers and scored three power-play goals against the Lightning on Oct. 12. Tampa Bay won the game 6-3 with two goals from Brian Boyle but Cooper said Boston is a much different team now.

"One thing that has really impressed me is their special teams, their power play has been off the charts this year," Cooper said. "It's a rare game you end up giving up three power-play goals and win. I think we caught [goalie] Tuukka [Rask] on a tough night, he had been going through a little rough stretch there. Clearly he's found his game and he's one of the best goalies in the world. What I notice now is a much more confident team. The one thing about the Bruins, and we've had troubles with them in the past, is they play really hard and they are hard to play against."

Here are the projected lineups:


Loui Eriksson - David Krejci - David Pastrnak

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Brett Connolly

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Jimmy Hayes

Zac Rinaldo - Chris Kelly - Tyler Randell

Zdeno Chara - Kevan Miller

Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

Joe Morrow - Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask

Jonas Gustavsson

Injured:���Joonas Kemppainen (undisclosed), Dennis Seidenberg (back)

Scratched: Zach Trotman


Alex Killorn - Steven Stamkos - Ryan Callahan

Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Vladislav Namestnikov - Valtteri Filppula - Erik Condra

J.T. Brown - Brian Boyle - Jonathan Marchessault

Anton Stralman - Victor Hedman

Braydon Coburn - Jason Garrison

Nikita Nesterov - Andrej Sustr

Ben Bishop

Kristers Gudlevskis

Scratched: Matthew Carle

Injured: Jonathan Drouin (lower body), Cedric Paquette (ankle), Andrei Vasilevskiy (blood clot).

Status report: Carle is a healthy scratch. He has not scored in 11 games and is minus-3. ...The Bruins did not hold a morning skate.

Who's hot: Marchand scored two goals against the Panthers on Friday. ... Bishop has a .939 save percentage in his past two starts.

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