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Nesterov could stay with Syracuse through next week



Defenseman Matt Taormina wasn't expecting to get called up by the Lightning Friday.

"I was shocked," Taormina said.

But with the Lightning wanting to get defenseman Nikita Nesterov some more playing time with AHL Syracuse, Taormina, 29, was brought up, partly as insurance as the seventh defenseman. With a healthy defensive core, Nesterov has played in just six of the first 18 games. It's possible Nesterov will stay with the Crunch through next weekend.

Either way, Taormina was excited to be back in the NHL, his first calll-up since December 2013, when he played in seven games for Tampa Bay. Taormina said he's much more confident than he was then, tallying five points in 10 games with the Crunch. "It's been a while," Taormina said. "It's been a year and a half. It's nice to get recognized and have the opportunity to come up. I don't know how long I'll be here, I just have to take advantage."

The Lightning lineup is expected to be the same as Thursday's win over the Flames, with goalie Ben Bishop making his second straight start.

More from morning skate: Vladislav Namestnikov will start on Steven Stamkos' line for the second consecutive game, Cooper liking how his vision and play helped set up Stamkos Thursday. "He's earned his ice, he's earned the right to play some more and we've got to find a way," Cooper said. LW Jonathan Drouin, who had started the season on Stamkos' line, remains on the fourth with Cedric Paquette and J.T. Brown, having played just 9:26 Thursday. "I've said that many times last year, I don't make decisions, I don't choose," Drouin said. Drouin said it impacts its confidence a little bit. "Not much I can do about it, just play my game." Cooper, named to the staff of Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey Friday, called it a "massive honor." Cooper said head coach Todd McLellan (Oilers) approached him about it a few weeks ago to coach the team of 23-and-under stars from U.S. and Canada. "It's a pretty exciting list when he was reelig off some names," Cooper said. "To be pulling a group of kids together that are young and eager and hungry and to watch future stars come to play, I'm really, really excited."  Cooper notes he'll be the "kid" on the staff in terms of NHL experience, along with the Sharks' Peter DeBoer and the Coyotes Dave Tippett...Due to the tragic Paris attacks, the Lightning will have enhanced security for tonight's game, so plan for longer lines heading into Amalie Arena.



[Last modified: Saturday, November 14, 2015 1:19pm]


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