Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Recoveries taking longer than expected for Johnson, Paquette

Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) battles to control the puck against Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) with Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) back on the play during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Saturday evening (10/17/15). (DIRK SHADD   |   Times)

Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) battles to control the puck against Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) with Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) back on the play during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Saturday evening (10/17/15). (DIRK SHADD | Times)

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Lightning had hoped C Tyler Johnson and C Cedric Paquette could return during the back-to-back games this weekend.

But with their recoveries from injuries taking longer than expected, both were scratched Saturday against the Sharks and were doubtful for tonight against the Kings.

"Disappointing," coach Jon Cooper said.

Johnson skated a couple of times last week as he recovers from an undisclosed injury suffered on the first shift of a Nov. 27 game against the Capitals. Paquette (upper body) hasn't played since Nov. 14 against the Panthers. Both are targeting a return Thursday against the Senators.

"When they come back, they're not coming back 75, 80 percent, they've got to come back 100 percent," Cooper said. "We can't have all these injuries recurring all the time. Can't have that. So we hope we get home and these guys take a few more strides forward."

LW Ondrej Palat (left ankle) continues to progress, having missed four weeks of his scheduled four- to five-week timetable. Cooper said Palat could return this week, "questionable" for Thursday.

MARCHING ON: C Jonathan Marchessault might have played his way onto the roster. He appeared in his 10th game Saturday, making him waiver-eligible, meaning he'll have to clear if the Lightning tries to send him back to AHL Syracuse.

Marchessault has been impressive in filling in while Paquette, Palat, Johnson and since-returned LW Jonathan Drouin have been hurt, with two goals entering Saturday (not including a shootout goal). Marchessault has also been on the power play. It'd be hard to envision Marchessault not getting picked up by another team if he is reassigned when Johnson, Palat and Paquette are back. So Marchessault is likely to stay, giving Tampa Bay 14 forwards when healthy, barring a trade.

"I just go with the flow, and it's going to be their decision at the end," Marchessault said. "We'll see what's going to happen. I'm just happy to be here. You try to come here and make them do a hard decision. Hopefully I can stay."

LEANING RIGHT: After spending most of this season at his natural center spot, Steven Stamkos has been playing right wing the past three games. As it was during last season's playoffs, Valtteri Filppula has centered Stamkos, with Alex Killorn on the left.

"We've got injuries. We're trying to make things happen," Cooper said. "All 'Stammer' wants to do is win. You talk to him about where he's playing, what is going to happen, he's like, 'Let's do it. Let's go get a win.' "

Stamkos said that though playing wing isn't new, it takes a few games to adjust. He had two assists and five shots Nov. 28 against the Islanders, just one shot Wednesday against the Ducks.

"You can put a spin on anything, 'try to free you up, get guys going,' " Stamkos said. "But whatever it is, things aren't going well if you have to switch things up."

LINING UP: G Ben Bishop started Saturday, with G Andrei Vasilevskiy likely playing tonight but not guaranteed.

Recoveries taking longer than expected for Johnson, Paquette 12/05/15 [Last modified: Sunday, December 6, 2015 1:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen jogs back to the dugout after paying starting pitcher Tyler Duffey a visit on the mound in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  2. State baseball: Bishop McLaughlin bows out in Class 3A semifinals


    FORT MYERS — One inning into Bishop McLaughlin's Class 3A state semifinal against Fort Myers Canterbury, things could not have gone much better for the Hurricanes. They grabbed a quick one-run lead and Canterbury ace Sam Keating was forced out of the game with a nagging neck injury.

     Chris Berglund (18) of Bishop McLaughlin, at bat during second inning of the FHSAA class 3A semi-final on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Canterbury, Fort Myers, defeated Bishop 7 to 4. Canterbury will play in the 3A championship tomorrow.
  3. Bucs WR DeSean Jackson knows only one direction: full speed ahead


    TAMPA — DeSean Jackson is the "1."

    Actually, Jackson, the Bucs' latest weapon for quarterback Jameis Winston, with his blazing speed and game-changing splash plays, wears No. 11 in games.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  4. Video preview: Rays open tough road trip facing Twins tonight


    After splitting a four-game series against the Angels to wrap up a winning homestand, the Rays tonight open a nine-game, 10-day roadtrip with the first game of the weekend series with the Twins:

  5. For starters: Rays, Archer take on surprising Twins to open road trip


    UPDATE, 6:37: Cash said it was a combination of wanting to keep Dickerson, who is a team-best . 358 against lefties, in the lineup and Santiago's splits. ... Cash said there was nothing new on the injured players back at the Trop, with Brad Boxberger still slated to throw live BP on Monday in Port Charlotte, …