Lightning-Panthers exhibition won't be made up
Thursday's Lightning-Panthers preseason game, which was postponed Wednesday due to Hurricane Matthew, will not be made up.
Both teams were interested in rescheduling the game, partly because they wanted to get their regulars in one more exhibition before the season opener. They looked at potential alternatives, including Monday, but it didn't work out.
The Lightning will wrap up its preseason Saturday with an exhibition at home against the Predators. The season opens Oct 13 vs Detroit. Coach Jon Cooper said the cancellation didn't screw up the team's plans much, believing it might be a blessing in disguise as the Lightning gets more practice time. Tampa Bay practiced in Estero Thursday and plans to skate Friday in Tampa.
It does mean prospects like Brayden Point and Joel Vermin, who are battling for spots on the team, will have one fewer showcase. Expect most of Tampa Bay's regular lineup to play Saturday.
"We still have Saturday's game to evaluate," Cooper said. "We'll take a strong look at some guys. There are guys we have had on our team, or in camp before, and have a pretty good read on them. That's a big help for us in the sense that our team remained in tact the last couple years. We do lose a chance for some of these guys to get a game under their belt, but we'll see if they can strut their stuff on Saturday."