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Garrison, Brown game-time decisions for Lightning

Defenseman Jason Garrison (illness) skated today for the first time since Thursday and felt good, with coach Jon Cooper calling him a game-time decision against the Blackhawks.

AP photo

Defenseman Jason Garrison (illness) skated today for the first time since Thursday and felt good, with coach Jon Cooper calling him a game-time decision against the Blackhawks.

24

January

The Lightning may be getting two regulars back tonight.

Defenseman Jason Garrison (illness) skated today for the first time since Thursday and felt good, with coach Jon Cooper calling him a game-time decision against the Blackhawks.

"We'll see," Cooper said. "That's a long time off, and trying to keep up with the horses across the way (Chicago), that's a tough thing to do."

Wing J.T. Brown (upper body) is also a game-time decision, Cooper said. Brown has missed seven games since taking a hit to the head from Flyers' Wayne Simmonds.

"He's got a full week of symptom free," Cooper said. "He's feeling better."

Cooper said C Brayden Point (upper body), who has been skating on his own this past week, will be "legitimately day to day" after this weekend's All-Star break.

More notes: G Andrei Vasilevskiy will start in net.. If Garrison can't go, the Lightning could elect to go with seven defensemen again. Rookie Jake Dotchin played well in his NHL debut Saturday with four hits in over 11 minutes of ice time, with Cooper saying he "probably deserves to play another game." "I really liked Dotchin's game," Cooper said. "He just kept it simple. His breakout passes were on the tape. He had  good feel for the game. I was really happy with the way he played. Dotchin said he was nervous early on, but settled in, helped by the fact his first shift was with All-Star D Victor Hedman. "It was something I've been thinking about since I was a kid," Dotchin said. "It was a dream come true. Surreal.". The NHL Department of Player Safety announced Tuesday Coyotes' Peter Holland was fined the maximum of $3,611 for his sucker punch on Lightning's Ondrej Palat Saturday.. Cooper said he was at dinner in Chicago with his wife Monday night and was sent drinks by former Lightning forward Richard Panik, who was at a table behind him. Cooper said he's really happy for Panik, who has found a home with the Blackhawks, a career-high matching 11 goals. Panik was put on waivers by Tampa Bay right before the 2014-15 season, getting picked up by the Maple Leafs before eventually getting traded to Chicago last season. "The biggest thing for Richard has been he's learned how to be a pro," Cooper said. "I think for a lot of young guys, especially with his talent, makeup, he's got the size, strength, speed and skill. He had to learn how to be a pro. He's been in the process of that and it just took him a little bit longer than some other guys. He's an electrifying player."

 

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 3:24pm]

    

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