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Newly acquired J.T. Miller, Ryan McDonagh skate with Lightning

Lightning look to make it five straight wins when it plays tonight against the Sabres
You won't see tussles like this between J.T. Miller (white jersey) and Steven Stamkos (left) now that the two are teammates on the Lightning. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
Published Feb. 28, 2018

The joke now is the Lightning are the Rangers South after Monday's trade that landed defenseman Ryan McDonagh and center J.T. Miller.

Both skated this morning.

Miller, who skated on a line with Chris Kunitz and Tyler Johnson, will be in the lineup tonight against the Sabres. McDonagh is still out with a shoulder injury and is targeting a March 6 return when the Lightning plays host to the Panthers.

"It's awesome to be here, such a fun hockey team to watch around the league," Miller said, "and it's a really good opportunity, so I'm looking forward to it."

The pair join former Rangers teammates D Dan Girardi, D Anton Stralman and RW Ryan Callahan in the Lightning dressing room.

"It is kind of a crazy coincidence, but if you ask me, I hope that (Rangers South) doesn't stick much longer past today, because I'm proud to be a part of this team," McDonagh said. "I'm proud to be a Tampa Bay Lightning, and I want to help add to the success they've had this year and do something special."

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The Lightning (43-17-3) goes for its fifth straight win tonight. The Sabres (19-38-11) have won two of their last three, including a 4-1 victory Sunday against the Bruins.

Johnson, who left Monday's game late in the third period with a left ankle injury and returned for overtime, is expected to play tonight.

"It was the best-case scenario," said Johnson, who participated in the morning skate.

RW Nikita Kucherov, the NHL's leading scorer, is doubtful, according to coach Jon Cooper, with an upper-body injury sustained during the first period of Monday's win.

Kuckerov joined his team near the end of the skate and skated briefly.

LW Michael Bournival, recalled Tuesday, skated this morning with Cedric Paquette and Callahan.