Boyle a game-time-decision, Bishop in net
Veteran center Brian Boyle did not participate in today's morning skate and is a "game-time decision" tonight, coach Jon Cooper said.
Boyle appeared fine in Thursday's practice, but Cooper said the forward "woke up not feeling great."
"This isn't a long-term thing," Cooper said. "Must just be (out) tonight, if at all."
Goalie Ben Bishop will be in net, making his eighth consecutive start to open the season. There's also a chance Bishop will play Saturday in the back-to-back against the Blackhawks. A lot will depend on how tonight goes, and how Bishop feels Saturday morning. Bishop is going for his 100th career win.
With Boyle out, Cedric Paquette took his place on the fourth line with Vladislav Namestnikov and J.T. Brown. Looks like the Lightning will keep the same defensive pairings, with Nikita Nesterov - eligible after his two game suspension was served - a healthy scratch.
The MTS Centre has been a special place for the Lightning. Captain Steven Stamkos scored his 60th goal in the 2011-12 season here. Tonight, Stamkos will play in his 500th career game.
"Whenever you can do something special like that, it's always going to stick in your mind," Stamkos said. "A lot of good things in this building. It feels like time has fllown by for sure. It's been a great ride, hopefully a lot more (games) to come."
This is also where the Lightning's touted Triplets line was first united, Oct. 24 in Winnipeg, after former wing Brett Connolly got hurt. Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat have just one even strength goal together through seven games. "So maybe this is where it'll all start," Johnson said with a smile.
In that same game, wing Jonathan Drouin scored his first NHL goal. Drouin said he and rooomate Kucherov, who set him up for the goal, talked about that yesterday. Drouin, perhaps not coincidentally, was in the same locker stall after today's skate. "You don't forget that one," he said. Drouin said he has the puck in a case, but the stick he scored with actaully broke in half a couple shifts later.