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Tyler Johnson returns to Lightning practice

Tyler Johnson said he felt "pretty good" but they won't know until Wednesday if he'll be in the lineup.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Tyler Johnson said he felt "pretty good" but they won't know until Wednesday if he'll be in the lineup.

12

April

Lightning center Tyler Johnson returned to practice Tuesday, a good sign he might be ready for Game 1 Wednesday against the Red Wings.

Johnson said he felt "pretty good" but they won't know until Wednesday if he'll be in the lineup.

"I'm still trying to decide," Johnson said. "It's up to the coaching staff, see how I feel (Wednesday)."

Cooper said Johnson will be a game-time decision, leaving it up to him and doctors.

Johnson suffered an upper-body injury in Saturday's regular season finale, hitting his head/shoulder into the boards on a post-whistle shove by Montreal's Greg Pateryn. It certainly didn't look good, with Cooper calling the play "egregious." Asked about Pateryn's hit, Johnson said. "It doesn't do me any good to comment on it."

Johnson had been considered day to day, but didn't skate Monday. Johnson participated fully in Tuesday's skate, centering a line with Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn. He looked pretty good overall.

"I felt okay," he said. "There are things that I want to feel better."

Johnson's return would be big for the Lightning, already without its No. 1 center in Steven Stamkos. Johnson scored six goals in a first-round series victory over Detroit last season. Asked if he was encouraged to be skating today considering how he felt Saturday, Johnson said, "It's playoffs."

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 1:07pm]

    

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