TAMPA — LW Jeremy Morin couldn't have asked for a better start Thursday, scoring a goal on his first shot in his first game with the Lightning.
"It's never a bad thing to have a good first impression," Morin said of his two-point night in a 2-0 preseason win over the Panthers at Amalie Arena. "It's a fresh start for me."
Morin, 25, has had plenty of those. He's with his fifth organization in the past 13 months — "I stopped counting," Morin quipped — after signing a one-year, two-way deal July 1.
Morin got traded twice last season, from Chicago to Toronto, then to San Jose, playing in 58 games on three AHL teams. "Definitely a tough year, living in a hotel," he said.
Morin is likely slated for AHL Syracuse to start the season, but with 82 career NHL games, he could provide depth for the Lightning. He does have a Stanley Cup ring, won with the 2015 Blackhawks. And Morin saw something special in the Lightning this summer. "I want to be part of it," he said. And stick.
MOVING ON: Former Lightning RW Jonathan Marchessault returned to Amalie Arena for the first time since signing a two-year, $1.5 million free agent deal with the Panthers in July. But he said there was no extra motivation. Florida just provided a chance for more playing time. "I wouldn't say it was about money or anything like that," he said. "I wanted a better opportunity to be in the lineup every night and to be able to maybe have a chance to go on the third line."
Marchessault spent parts of three seasons in the Lightning organization, playing in 46 NHL games. He had seven goals (and 18 points) in 45 games last season.
"I would usually be on the fourth line, or some nights they would go with 11 forwards and seven (defensemen) and I'd be in the stands," he said. "It was a good start for me, but I just wanted to think of myself (with the Panthers) in that situation and take my career here."
CUP RETURNEES: Several World Cup players had their first full practice: RW Jonathan Drouin, LW Ondrej Palat, D Andrej Sustr, C Valtteri Filppula, goalies Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy, and D Nikita Nesterov. C Vladislav Namestnikov skated on his own. Cooper said he expects those players to play in exhibitions as the season gets closer.
NUTS AND BOLTS: G Kristers Gudlevskis made 21 saves. … C Brayden Point scored for the second straight game. … C Brian Boyle, D Jason Garrison, C Cedric Paquette and RW Erik Condra made their exhibition debuts. … D James Wisniewski, on a tryout, logged the most minutes again (21:15) and was plus-1. … Cooper said he didn't anticipate more cuts until after the weekend.
MEDICAL MATTERS: F Adam Erne remains sidelined with an undisclosed injury. Cooper said he hopes the 2013 second-round draft pick can get into a preseason game before camp ends.… F Mitchell Stephens, one of the few junior-eligible players who didn't get cut Wednesday, will get an extended look. Part of it is because Stephens was banged up over the weekend.