Lightning tested some different options at defenseman

Anton Stralman is expected to return, but Tampa Bay learned it has options.
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) defend against Detroit Red Wings center Christoffer Ehn (70) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) defend against Detroit Red Wings center Christoffer Ehn (70) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Published March 13

The Lightning has options at defense. Jan Rutta demonstrated that while injuries kept Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi out of the lineup the last two games.

The other thing Tampa Bay got to see was a different version of the top defensive pairing. Mikhail Sergachev moved up to play with Victor Hedman for those two games (wins over Detroit and Toronto).

“They’ve done well,” Jon Cooper said. “Sergy, he’s been pretty comfortable playing on both sides and that helps. Both can skate, they can move the puck. For the couple of games they’ve been together, they’ve driven some offense. The thing is not to spend a lot of time in their own D-zone and that’s been big.”

Judging by practice on Wednesday, Stralman could be back for Thursday’s game in Detroit and Sergachev may be back to playing with Coburn.

Stralman was a full participant in practice, back to skating with Hedman after taking rushes with forward Danick Martel at morning skate on Monday.

Dan Girardi did not practice on Monday.

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