It was quite the busy afternoon at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon, where not only did the Lightning practice but so did the Rangers and the Blue Jackets.
The Rangers, 2-1 overtime winners Thursday against the Lightning, practiced before heading down to South Florida, where they will play the Panthers on Saturday night.
The Blue Jackets (9-4-0) play the Lightning (10-2-2) on Saturday night at Amalie Arena.
At one point, the Lightning and Rangers practiced side-by-side on the two rinks. The Blue Jackets followed the Lightning on the ice.
Of note from the Lightning practice:
- Tyler Johnson was united with J.T. Brown and Alex Killorn while Gabriel Dumont skated with Ryan Callahan and Chris Kunitz.
- Johnson came off the ice wearing a band aid on his left cheek to cover a cut sustained when he took an elbow to his face during practice.
- Cedric Paquette (upper body injury) skated through the entire session. He is expected to rejoin the lineup during the West Coast trip that beings Wednesday in San Jose.
Torts in town for Cup reunion
Former Lightning coach John Tortorella, now the coach of the Blue Jackets, is in town and will be a part of Saturday's celebration of the 2004 Stanley Cup championship team.
He said he is looking forward to tonight's dinner with his former players from that season.
When asked if he could believe how much time has passed since he lifted the Cup after the Game 7 win against Calgary in the finals, Tortorella said, "It shows you how hard it is to get there. It's been a long time, but it's true what they say, you don't forget one another when you go through that stuff. I think this organization has done a terrific job trying to keep the people together."
The 2004 team will be honored before Saturday's game against the Blue Jackets. The festivities begin with a blue carpet walk at Thunder Ally outside Amalie Arena, where players will sign autographs. Scheduled to appear are Dmitry Afanasenkov, Dave Andreychuk, Dan Boyle, Martin Cibak, Jassen Cullimore, Chris Dingman, Ruslan Fedotenko, Pavel Kubina, Vinny Lecavalier, Brad Lukowich, Fredrik Modin, Brad Richards, Andre Roy, Cory Sarich, Martin St. Louis, Tim Taylor, GM Jay Feaster and Tortorella.