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Three Lightning centers day to day after injuries

Tyler Johnson, Vladislav Namestnikov, Cedric Paquette left game Thursday @NHLdotcom

Tampa Bay Lightning centers Tyler Johnson, Vladislav Namestnikov and Cedric Paquette are day to day after each was injured in a 4-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

"They all looked bad. Only time will tell. We'll see how that goes," associate coach Rick Bowness told the Lightning website Friday.

Namestnikov, 24, was helped off the ice at 3:18 of the second period after Wild forward Zach Parise fell on his leg going for a loose puck.

Johnson, 26, was helped off the ice at 8:04 of the second after a knee-to-knee hit from Minnesota forward Nino Niederreiter.

Paquette, 23, got tangled with Niederreiter and exited in the third period.

"Not three centermen go down like that," Bowness said. "Sometimes you get banged out there and it's a stinger and it goes away after 10, 15 minutes, but that wasn't the case last night. That is very rare for that to happen."

Johnson is third on Tampa Bay with 44 points (19 goals, 25 assists) in 64 games. Namestnikov has 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in 62 games, and Paquette has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 58 games.

The Lightning (31-26-9) trail the New York Islanders by four points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, and are five behind the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division.

The Lightning on Friday did not address the possibility of center Steven Stamkos returning to the lineup. He has been skating regularly but has not participated in practice while recovering from knee surgery.

Tampa Bay has not recalled any forwards from Syracuse of the American Hockey League ahead of their game Saturday against the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena (7 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-F, NHL.TV). Brayden Point practiced at center in Johnson's place on the top line with Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat.

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