Drouin, Palat not likely to play on road trip
The hits keep on coming for the Lightning.
Already down three regular forwards, wings Jonathan Drouin (lower body) and Ondrej Palat (lower body) are undergoing a "battery of tests" back in Tampa, so they're unlikely to play on this three-game road trip, coach Jon Cooper said.
Drouin re-aggravated a previous injury Saturday and Palat got hurt - potentially the same left ankle that sidelined him for more than four weeks - early in the first period.
"As you can see, none of them are in the room, so there's not really a good chance they play on this trip," Cooper said. "Hopefully we get some better news Sunday when we play Ottawa."
Cooper said center Tyler Johnson, who reaggravated an injury Thursday, "probably" won't play this week, and Cedric Paquette "definitely" won't. Wing Erik Condra (lower body) skated on his own after this morning's skate, but is even "dicey" to play Friday in Washington D.C.
With all the injuries, the Lightning made two more recalls from AHL Syracuse, with wings Joel Vermin and Yanni Gourde joining the team Monday in Columbus. Cooper said while he's not sure if Gourde willl make his NHL debut tonight, as Tampa Bay could go with 11 forwards, seven defensemen, he's earned the opportunity.
"It's a dream come true," Gourde said.
More from today's skate: G Ben Bishop will start tonight, with G Andrei Vasilevskiy - recalled Sunday - potentially starting Tuesday in Toronto...The lines were again reshuffled, with Vladislav Namestnikov-Steven Stamkos-Nikita Kucherov together, a combo that had great chemistry in previous games. The other lines were Killorn-Boyle-Marchessault/Brown-Filppula-Callahan/Vermin-Gourde-Blunden. Former Lightning coach Jon Tortorella, now coaching Columbus, said it's been an interesting challenge taking over the struggling Blue Jackets after an 0-7 start. Tortorella said this reminds him of his early days with the Lightning, all the teaching and getting a young group to improve its inconsistencies. Rookie goalie Joonas Korpisalo will make his NHL debut tonight for the Blue Jackets.