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Jonathan Drouin a game-time decision with flu



The good news for the Lightning is that Tyler Johnson is expected back in the lineup tonight against the Stars.

The bad news? Wing Jonathan Drouin has a flu bug, and is a game-time decision. Cory Conacher was called up from AHL Syracuse and is in route in case Drouin can't go; or Tampa Bay can go with seven defensemen.

"I hope (Drouin) can play," coach Jon Cooper said. "But you  never know how things go."

Johnson, who missed the last two games before the five-day bye with a lower body injury, felt good after his second straight day on the ice. "He's good to go," Cooper said.

The Lightning (25-24-7) are facing a struggling Stars team that has lost six of their last seven. But the bye week hasn't been kind to teams, which are 3-9-2 in first game back. Those who had byes this month are 0-5-1 in the first game.

But Cooper doesn't seem concerned, liking the way the players have responded the past two days.

"I like the way the guys are snapping it around," Cooper said.

More notes: G Andrei Vasilevskiy will start in net, with G Ben Bishop expected to play  Sunday against Colorado; Bishop is 1-3 with a 4.14 GAA against Dallas. Rookie D Jake Dotchin continues to get reps at the point on the power play. Cooper said they're breaking him in as a backup plan, but he's impressed."The big thing is he's got a big shot back there and he can get it through," Cooper said. "Those are big components on the power play to have back there." Said Johnson:"He's been unbelievable for us. You mention him being able to get shots through. Since he's been up, he's  probably been one of our best defenders at doing that. He's got a lot of skill, has the size, he can skate and he competes hard. He's earned his time." D Luke Witkowski was among the last on the ice, a likely scratch, unless the team goes 11/7.






[Last modified: Saturday, February 18, 2017 2:16pm]


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