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Penguins' Hornqvist expected to play Game 4

Forward left Game 3 win vs. Lightning after blocking shot with his hand

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

Game 4: PENGUINS AT LIGHTNING

Eastern Conference Final

Pittsburgh leads best-of-7 series 2-1

TV: 8 p.m.; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

TAMPA -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist is expected to be in the lineup against the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final at Amalie Arena on Friday. 

Hornqvist, who left in the third period of Game 3 on Wednesday after blocking a shot by Lightning forward Alex Killorn with his hand, took part in line rushes Friday morning and appeared to have no problems doing stickhandling and shooting drills.

When asked if he anticipates Hornqvist being in the lineup Friday, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan simply said, "Yes."

Hornqvist has six goals and three assists in 14 playoff games this season.

Tampa Bay had an optional skate Friday. Captain Steven Stamkos (blood clot) and goalie Ben Bishop (lower body) participated, but neither will play in Game 4. Bishop was limited during the optional skate and spent most of the session working on the side with goalie coach Frantz Jean.

"I have to keep reminding people that it might not happen," Stamkos said of a return this postseason. "Like I said from Day One, I wouldn't be putting the work in if I didn't think there was a chance but there's also a chance that it may not happen."

Both teams were only able to use about three-quarters of the ice at Amalie Arena because of ice maintenance issues around the goal post insert on the north end. The issue is expected to be resolved by midday and will not affect Game 4 according to a statement from the NHL.

Here are the projected lineups:

PENGUINS

Conor Sheary - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist

Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust

Carl Hagelin - Nick Bonino - Phil Kessel

Tom Kuhnhackl - Matt Cullen - Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang

Trevor Daley - Ben Lovejoy

Ian Cole - Justin Schultz

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Injured: Scott Wilson (foot surgery)

Scratched: Olli Maatta, Beau Bennett, Derrick Pouliot, Oskar Sundqvist

LIGHTNING

Ondrej Palat - Valtteri Filppula - Jonathan Drouin

Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Cedric Paquette - Brian Boyle - Ryan Callahan

Jonathan Marchessault - Vladislav Namestnikov - J.T. Brown

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr

Matthew Carle - Braydon Coburn

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Kristers Gudlevskis

Injured: Steven Stamkos (blood clot), Ben Bishop (lower body)

Scratched: Slater Koekkoek, Nikita Nesterov, Erik Condra

Status report: Penguins rookie goalie Murray (9-3, 2.13 goals-against average, .928 save percentage) will make his 13th start in the playoffs. … Lightning goalie Vasilevsky (1-2, 2.45 GAA, .935 SV%) will make his third start of these playoffs. … Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper is scheduled to meet with the media at 6:30 p.m. to discuss any potential lineup changes.

Who's hot: Crosby has a three-game point streak, and two goals in the past two games. … Kucherov had two assists in Game 3 for his first points in the series.

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