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Getting the band back together; Lightning at Nashville Predators preview

It's practice, ,and it's a lot of Tampacuse alumni for the Lightning.

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Designed by John Fontana

Where:  Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
When: 8 PM EDT | Tickets: Check availability
Media:  970 AM WFLA (radio) | Twitter Live Stream
Opponent Coverage: On the Forecheck

In a way, tonight at Bridgestone Arena, the Bolts are putting the band back together for "one night only!" (or so we think) as the lineup seems to be a who's-who of Tampacuse alumni as well as likely starters for the Crunch in 2014-15. Don't read that as in "it's no one of note playing."  That's not the truth at all. The "band" in question isn't the full roster slated for tonight, it's the "Kid Line" also known as the "Top Gun Line" of Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Richard Panik. That trio worked together swimmingly in both Syracuse as well as the 2013-14 Lightning preseason. Their success was part of the reason all three made the club out of camp. Johnson and Palat went on to have the greater successes with the club, both finishing as runners-up for the 2014 Calder Memorial Award. Panik, on the other hand, seemed to struggle to find his role with the club - 4th line defensive cog, power forward, scoring wing without the scoring?

Other Syracuse Crunch alumni such as J.T. Brown, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Mark Barberio, Radko Gudas, Nikita Nesterov and Luke Witkowki will all be in the game.  Former 1st round draft pick Slater Koekkoek, who is bound for Syracuse most likely, as well as 2014 college free agent signing Cody Kunyk will also be in.

On the other side of the ice, the Preds are bringing out some of their big guns for a workout: Shea Weber, James Neal, and Mike RibeiroPekka Rinne will be dressed but is not slated to start.  Kristers Gudlevskis, who backed up Andrei Vasilevskiy on Tuesday in Tampa, will be in net for the Lightning.

No television tonight, ladies and gents. Don't make a big deal about it though, it's practice.

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