Nashville Predators at Tampa Bay Lightning game night thread
This isn't a standard preview, nor a game thread. No, no... This is practice. Just like the game. We'll be following an entirely different set of standards when the games count.
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
When: 7:30 PM EDT | Tickets: Check availability
Media: 970 AM WFLA (radio) | Twitter Live Stream
Opponent coverage: On the Forecheck
It's practice everybody. Practice. The game isn't televised and that's just fine all because it's practice. Some noteworthy players will be on ice with the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight, including former first round draft pick Andrei Vasilevskiy (who starts for the Bolts) but it's not something to get bent out of shape over because the game's not on TV. It's practice. These games don't count... Well, unless a guy slated for the NHL roster goes down with an injury. Then the game counts in the worst way possible. Let's try not to think about that though, shall we?
The top NHL talent in the game for the Lightning is a potential 2nd line combination of Alex Killorn on the left wing, Valtteri Filppula at center and Brett Connolly on the right. Other NHL veterans will be sprinkled in as Ricahrd Panik and Nikita Kucherov are set to play. It's the AHL vets and prospects who make up the rest of the lineup - Adam Erne, Tanner Richard, Joel Vermin; Vladislav Namestnikov will be centering Panik and Kucherov, while Cedric Paquette, Mike Angelidis and Jonathan Marchessault will make up another line combo.
On defense there will be a mix of the NHL veterans - Jason Garrison and Andrej Sustr will be paired-off, Matt Carle and Luke Witkowski will make up the second pairing, and Mark Barberio will be with Jake Dotchin on the third pair. While Vasya is set to start for the Lightning, don't be surprised when you hear him being replaced mid game. It's practice, people. The yak-man, Kristers Gudlevskis will be Andrei's backup in the crease.
Erik Erlendsson reported via Twitter earlier that roster cuts are looming, and this game is prep for further cuts - guys destined to play in the AHL for the Syracuse Crunch.
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