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Matt Peca making case for Lightning spot

Matt Peca won nine of 10 faceoffs Friday, a skill the Lightning badly needs.


Matt Peca won nine of 10 faceoffs Friday, a skill the Lightning badly needs.



Center Matt Peca said he didn't read too much into the fact he was the only Lightning player to appear in each of the first three exhibition games.

But Peca, 24, loved it.

"Anytime you get a game, it's a good thing," Peca said. "It gives you another chance to go out there and do your thing."

Peca has done just that, the 5-foot-8 center making an intriguing case to make the opening night roster. Peca impressed in a 10-game callup last season, and has gotten better each preseason game," Cooper said. Peca won nine of 10 faceoffs Friday, a skill the Lightning badly needs.

"To be honest, he looks faster," Cooper said. "He's doing exceptional on the faceoff circle. Just his effort level and everything has been elite since he's been in training camp. He's just one of those guys you can put on the penalty kill, the power play, can take the big draw. You need all those things to find your niche, and he's doing that right now."

Peca said he's enjoyed the fact he's been able to show his versatility at both center and wing. He's getting opportunities on special teams, too. The Lightning has a pretty crowded forward group, but like Brayden Point showed last preseason, you can play yourself onto the roster. Assistant Todd Richards praised Peca for being such a smart player, always in the right position, so coaches never have to worry about him.

"You’re fighting for a spot, but more importantly you want to show them how you’ve grown as a player," Peca said. 'They give you a lot feedback after every year and you want to work on that stuff during the summer and you want to come into camp and show them you’re matured as a player and a person and prove that you can play at the NHL level."

CAMP CUTS: The Lightning made 10 more cuts Saturday, trimming the roster to 44. G Connor Ingram, D Matt Spencer, D Mat Bodie and F Alex Gallant were sent to AHL Syracuse, with F Shane Conacher (brother of Cory Conacher), Kevin Lynch and D Reid McNeil released from their tryouts. F Otto Somppi was reassigned to Halifax (QMJHL).

[Last modified: Saturday, September 23, 2017 10:28am]


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