Battle for bottom six continues tonight for Lightning
It's fitting former Lightning wing Jonathan Marchessault returns to Amalie Arena tonight with the Panthers for an exhibition game.
One of Tampa Bay's top priorities in training camp is to solidify its bottom-six forward group, needing much more production this season from them. Marchessault had seven goals and 11 assists in 45 games with the Lightning last year before signing with Florida as a free agent in July.
Take a look at tonight's lineup, and there are several returners like veterans Erik Condra and Cedric Paquette who are battling for their spots after down offensive seasons. Condra was largely a healthy scratch in the postsesaon after tallying just six goals in his first season with Tampa Bay last year.
Cory Conacher, re-signed this offseason, was acquired partly to see if he can provide some production to replace Marchessault. Yanni Gourde, Tanner Richard are playing tonight, and another candidate, Joel Vermin, played Tuesday.
Other regulars in the lineup tonight are Brian Boyle, Jason Garrison, Slater Koekkoek. James Wisniewski is getting in his second game on a camp tryout. Kristers Gudlevskis and Adam Wilcox are expected to split the game in net.
Full lineup: Garrison, Boyle, Paquette, Bournival, Conacher, Wisniewski, Condra, Koekkoek, Morin, Point, Richard, Halmof, Dotchin, Dumont, Peca, Gourde, Blujus, Walcott.