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Lightning hope Tyler Johnson will be on the ice for tonight's playoff opener

Tyler Johnson suffered an upper body injury in Saturday's game in Montreal, hitting his head/shoulders into the boards.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Tyler Johnson suffered an upper body injury in Saturday's game in Montreal, hitting his head/shoulders into the boards.

13

April

Lightning center Tyler Johnson felt pretty good after skating with the team for the second straight day.

And while Johnson said they'll decide tonight if he'll play in Game 1 against the Red Wings, it appears there's a good chance he will. Johnson suffered an upper body injury in Saturday's game in Montreal, hitting his head/shoulders into the boards.

Johnson is used to playing through pain, having battled through a broken wrist during the Stanley Cup Final against the Blackhawks. It's the playoffs, as he said.

"I think you go through the lockerooms of both teams, or any team in the playoffs, guys are going to be (banged up) at this point in the season," Johnson said. "As long as you can do your job."

If Johnson can't go, look for Jonathan Marchessault to slot in for him. Otherwise Marchessault, Erik Condra and Matt Taormina appear to be the healthy scratches.

Vladislav Namestnikov is in the lineup, playing on the fourth line with Brian Boyle and Mike Blunden. Namestnikov has seemingly played with every forward this season, from the top line to fourth. Namestnikov said it's tough, but he makes the most of it.

"It's more mentally," he said. "As I said, a couple shifts and you get used to it."

More from morning skate: As expected, Ben Bishop will start in net. There will be blue line cameras for the playoffs to help with coaches challenge on offsides calls. "If it's going to get it right, there's no quesiton," coach Jon Cooper said. "The one thing about offside, it was always worked on one side of the ice, it wasn't clear on the other side. " Cooper said he and long-time friend Jeff Blashill, the coach of the Red Wings, will have a rubber match this series, having faced each other in the playoffs twice in juniors. "I know for certain I'll want the bragging rights this summer," Blashill said. "It'll be fun." Cooper wasn't exactly looking forward to facing a friend. "I just wish we weren't playing each other until the final," Cooper said. "I know that's unrealistic, but to play in the first round kind of sucks because one of us isn't going to advance." Cooper joked: "We have a friendship and this will never divide that. Unless he reaches around and squirts a water bottle on me, then that might." D Braydon Coburn, a former Flyers defenseman, offered his condolences to the family of Flyers co-founder and former owner Ed Snider, who passed away Monday. "He was unbelievable man and my condolences to his family," Coburn said. "It's definitely sad. He was a heart and soul guy, he really cared about his team, he cared about the fans, and cared about the players. It's sad, but he left an unbelievable legacy that will definitely live on."

 

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 12:50pm]

    

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