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James Wisniewski encouraged with Lightning debut

After logging a team-high 21:20 in a 3-2 loss to Carolina, James Wisniewsk, 32, was encouraged with how he felt.
After logging a team-high 21:20 in a 3-2 loss to Carolina, James Wisniewsk, 32, was encouraged with how he felt.
Published Sep. 28, 2016

Veteran defenseman James Wisniewski was admittedly anxious heading into Tuesday's exhibition opener.

Not only was Wisniewski, an 11-year veteran, playing in his first full game in nearly a year and a half. It was also the first game of his audition for the Lightning while on a camp tryout.

But after logging a team-high 21:20 in a 3-2 loss to Carolina, Wisniewsk, 32, was encouraged with how he felt. It was his first game since tearing his left ACL in the season opener last year with the Hurricanes.

"All in all, I didn't feel like I was lost out there," Wisniewski said. "I feel pretty good."

Wisniewski's main strength would be his ability on the power play, and there weren't many opportunities Tuesday. But he showed his vision and poise with the puck when playing the point. And he felt comfortable with the Lightning's systems.

"He's been around this league for a long time," coach Jon Cooper said. "He made the plays he had to. You can see that he knows where to be on the ice."

The Lightning has three more exhibitions this week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Wisniewski in at least one of them.

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