The Lightning got some encouraging news on the injury front Sunday, as All-Star center Tyler Johnson and wing Alex Killorn were considered 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 a couple of 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 expected him to return to practice today in Estero.
The season opener is Thursday night against the Flyers at Amalie Arena. "I'm hoping that everyone will be ready for Thursday," Yzerman said.
Those injuries could make for some interesting decisions the next couple of days. 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 Jonathan Marchessault, who is waiver-eligible, or Mike Angelidis) as insurance with several forwards banged up.
Those eligible must pass through waivers today. Backup goalie candidate Kevin Poulin, who is waiver eligible, could make the opening-night roster, with Kristers Gudlevskis starting the season in AHL Syracuse. In that case, either would be an option to fill in for starter Ben Bishop when the Lightning needs a spot start this month.
Tampa Bay was scheduled to skate at 11 a.m. today at Germain Arena, with one more practice Wednesday at Amalie Arena before the season opener.
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