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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay wins final preseason game, 4-2, over the Florida Panthers

Oct 5, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA;Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) looks on against the Florida Panthers during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning ended the 2023 preseason with a 4-2 win over their instate rivals, the Florida Panthers. Tanner Jeannot, Anthony Cirelli, Brandon Hagel (shorthanded), and Brayden Point recorded goals while Jonas Johansson stopped 27 of 29 shots for his third win, albeit first in a non-shutout capacity. The team finished 5-2 in their warm-up games and now look forward to kicking off the NHL season against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

The Bolts put out a line-up that will be pretty close to what we see on opening night with Tyler Motte the only potential regular who wasn’t on the ice Saturday night. Both Alex Barre-Boulet and Waltteri Merla playing as Coach Cooper tries to figure out who is going to make the final cut.

In my humble opinion, Merela had the better game, the better training camp, and is the more natural fit for the bottom-six. Barre-Boulet did play well enough this fall to justify a spot on the roster and could be claimed on waivers if the Lightning tried to send him down. Merela is waiver-exempt (and carries a higher cap hit at $870,000).

We’ll likely know today what the opening night roster looks like as the Bolts have to be cap compliant by Monday night.

The Goals:

Lightning / NHL News

Syracuse Crunch win preseason finale 6-3 [Syracuse Crunch]

Mitchell Chaffee scored twice while Felix Robert, Gabriel Dumont, Devante Stephens, and Max Groshev added goals. Hugo Alnefelt was in net for the win and stopped 21-of-24.

Penguins sign Colin White to a one-year deal [Pensburgh]

At least one player invited to a training camp on a PTO has converted it to a contract. Colin White signed a one-year deal for $775,000 with the Penguins.

Waiver list for yesterday [Chris Johnston Twitter]

There are a couple of interesting goaltenders placed on waivers yesterday. Edmonton put Calvin Pickard (116 games) while Seattle added Chris Driedger (65 games). Driedger’s $3.5 million cap hit could be a problem down the line for the Lightning if they claim him.

Golden Knights claim Grigori Denisenko off of waivers [Knights on Ice]

It would be hilarious if Denisenko scored 30 goals for the Golden Knights a la Jonathan Marchessault, wouldn’t it?

Why Colorado could be the perfect landing spot for Drouin [ESPN]

It hasn’t been the career Jonathan Drouin planned out for himself when the Lightning drafted him in the first round all of those years ago, but he has the chance to turn things around with his third team, the Avalanche.

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