Lightning getting healthier, Johnson close to return
The Lightning looked a lot healthier in Tuesday's practice, with Tyler Johnson (upper body), Jonathan Drouin (undisclosed) and Cedric Paquette (upper body) all participating in regular-colored jerseys.
Johnson, who has missed the last three games, appears the closest to returning, skating with Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov today. Johnson seemed optimistic about playing Wednesday against the Kings, saying it depends on what the trainers/coaches think.
"I feel good, getting better," Johnson said. "It's up to them."
Coach Jon Cooper didn't offer an update, or speculate on their status, saying they're all "day to day." Drouin and Paquette have been cleared for contact, though it doesn't look like they'll be ready by Wednesday. Drouin skated on a line with Brian Boyle and Erik Condra, Paquette mixing in. Drouin said he's feeling better but "not where I want to be."
Drouin has missed the last three games, after missing five earlier this season with a lower body injury. Asked what his frustration level is, Drouin said, "High."
"It's not been the year that I wanted," Drouin said. "It's been frustrating, nothing you can do about it."
The other lines were these: Killorn-Stamkos-Callahan/Namestnikov-Johnson-Kucherov/Marchessault-Filppula-Brown/Drouin-Boyle-Condra.
Both Jonathan Marchessault and Joel Vermin, who were recent callups from AHL Syracuse. were at practice, likely to stick around until Drouin and Paquette are ready. Would imagine that Ben Bishop, who has allowed one goal the past two games, to get the start Wednesday against the Kings.