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Kucherov a game-time decision; Garrison a week away



It was an encouraging sign for the Lightning Tuesday that wing Nikita Kucherov participated in the morning skate.

Kucherov, who missed Sunday's game with a lower-body injury. still appeared to be favoring something so not sure if he'll play tonight. Coach Jon Cooper called him a "game-time decision."

But defenseman Jason Garrison was also skating - in a regular-colored jersey - saying he could be a week away from returning. Garrison has missed seven games with a lower-body injury Feb. 8 and was expected to be out 3-5 weeks. It looks like Garrison will be near the three week mark, which is Monday, so he could be back at the end of next road trip.

"That's what I'm going for," Garrison said. "The timeline seems about right so far. I felte pretty good after the first skate. I think with the progress taht I've made and the way I felt today, if it keeps going that way, it should be more closer to the three than the five."

Garrison got hurt early in the first period Feb. 8 in Ottawa on a hit by Bobby Ryan, saying his ankle and knee locked up.

More from morning skate: G Andrei Vasilevskiy will be in net tonight. D Matt Taormina, called up Monday, is expected to be scratched, along with potentially Erik Condra if Kucherov returns... Cooper said the Lightning has to take advantage of the fact the Coyotes played in Washington last night..The Lightning have given up a shorthanded goal in three consecutive games, with four an NHL record. A couple have come on too aggressive reads by players in the zone, leading to odd-man rushes. "I think when the power play is struggling a little bit, now you're probably trying to take an extra chance you shouldn't," Cooper said. "You look at the tape and those guys would rather take back the decisions they made but they're trying. We've got to be a heck of a lot more responsible in that area, just because we have the extra guy, teams are still pressing to score. We've been fortunate that we've won these games." C Valtteri Filppula will play in his 700th career game tonight.




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