Kucherov back tonight, Filppula out rest of trip?
The Lightning got some encouraging news on the injury front as wing Nikita Kucherov was in the morning skate and will play tonight against Toronto.
Kucherov had left Sunday's game in Columbus in the second period after getting sucker punched by Dalton Prout. Prout has a phone hearing today with the NHL Department of Player Safety and could face supplemental discipline.
On the other hand, center Valtteri Filppula (upper body) is out tonight and might miss the rest of the trip, coach Jon Cooper said. Cooper said Filppula is still with the team, not sent back to Tampa for evaluation.
Mike Blunden is still here and will play, with Cedric Paquette (lower body) not ready, though he skated. It looks like the Lightning will go with 11 forwards again with Erik Condra a possible scratch. Andrei Vasilevskiy is in net, his fourth start this season against Toronto (he's won all three).
More from morning skate: Captain Steven Stamkos said it was nice to spend a relaxing - even "boring" - offday at his parents house Monday, even getting a home cooked meal. "Peaceful," he said. It was a nice change considering all the talk and speculation on previous trips here - both. coming during back to backs - about him potentially ending up with the Maple Leafs... Lines from morning were: Killorn-Stamkos-Kucherov/Palat-Johnson-Namestnikov/brown-Boyle-Callahan/Blunden-Marchessault.