The Lightning got some encouraging news on the injury front Sunday, as All-Star center Tyler Johnson and wing Alex Killorn are both considered just day-to-day with undisclosed injuries, general manager Steve Yzerman said.
Both got hurt in Saturday's exhibition finale against the Panthers in Sunrise, with Johnson playing just two shifts in the second period before leaving. Killorn played only a couple shifts in the third period before exiting.
Wing Nikita Kucherov (lower body) was also held out of Saturday's game as a precaution, despite participating in the morning skate. Center Cedric Paquette (left foot) has been day-to-day for a week, though coach Jon Cooper expects him to return to practice Monday in Estero.
The season opener is Thursday night against the Flyers.
"I'm hoping that everyone will be ready for Thursday," Yzerman said.
Those injuries could make for some interesting decisions the next couple days as the roster has to be filed by Tuesday afternoon. The Lightning had planned on starting the season with seven defensemen and 13 forwards, though it could opt to carry 14 (including a Jonathan Marchessault, who is waiver-eligible, or Mike Angelidis) as insurance with several forwards banged-up.
Those eligible must pass through waivers on Monday. Backup goalie candidate Kevin Poulin, who is also waiver eligible, could make the opening night roster, with Kristers Gudlevskis starting the season in AHL Syracuse. In that case, either would be options to fill in for starter Ben Bishop when they do need a spot start this month.
Tampa Bay is scheduled to skate Monday 11 a.m. at Germain Arena, with one more practice (Wednesday at Amalie Arena) before the season opener.