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Steven Stamkos leads Lightning lineup for first preseason game

Tampa Bay takes on Carolina in their first preseason game.
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) smiles as his team has some offensive success after a goal during a scrimmage on the first day on the ice at the beginning of training camp at the Ice Sports Forum on September 13, 2019 in Brandon, FL. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Sep. 17
Updated Sep. 18

TAMPA – Steven Stamkos headlined the Lightning lineup on Tuesday night in Tampa Bay’s first preseason game, a 3-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at Amalie Arena.

Stamkos led a starting lineup that included veterans Alex Killorn, Anthony Cirelli and Ryan McDonagh. Prospect Cal Foote, who spent last season with the AHL Syracuse Crunch, also started Tuesday’s preseason game.

Stamkos deviated from his usual center position on Tuesday night, moving over to right wing with Anthony Cirelli at center.

"Training camp is time to look at all different angles," coach Jon Cooper said. We're missing a centerman on our team and so other guys are going to have to jump into those situations."

He pointed out the Lightning have had many centers play wing. It's not something Stamkos has done often, though.

Cooper sees practices and scrimmages as an opportunity to mix prospects in with veterans. In the preseason games, he expects to have separate veteran and prospect lines.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said his team is ready to get into preseason competition.

“Guys are sick of practices and they want to get in the games,” Cooper said. “They want to get a feel of playing against other players and it’s all about getting their timing in.”

Cooper sees practices and scrimmages as an opportunity to mix prospects in with veterans. In the preseason games, he expects to have separate veteran and prospect lines.

“It all depends who is in the lineup,” Cooper said."You usually try to keep (veterans) together, but because half to two-thirds of the team is new guys, you are going to run into a spot where rookies are playing with vets.”

The Lightning will use these preseason games to build team chemistry, but early exhibitions also allow the team to evaluate younger prospects.

“This, usually, is the only time you’re going to get to see your prospects,” Cooper said. “Players that are pushing for (roster) spots, to get a good look at them, these are the games you have to do it.”

Tuesday’s Lineup:

Forward Lines

Alex Killorn-Anthony Cirelli-Steven Stamkos

Mathieu Joseph-Yanni Gourde-Cory Conacher

Danick Martel-Ross Colton-Alex Barre-Boulet

Gabriel Fortier-Mitchell Stephens-Taylor Raddysh

Defensive pairings

Ryan McDonagh-Cal Foote

Cameron Gaunce-Ben Thomas

Braydon Coburn-Jan Rutta


Scott Wedgewood

Curtis McElhinney


  1. After Colorado's 6-2 whitewash on Saturday left goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Lightning looking for answers, the Bolts had a spirited practice at Amalie Arena on Sunday. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Defenseman Ryan McDonagh says the team has failed to meet expectations in this early stage of the season
  2. Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92), left, and Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) tussle behind the Colorado net during the second period Saturday at Amalie Arena. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times
    Tampa Bay racks up 18 penalty minutes in Saturday’s 6-2 loss to Colorado.
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) is beaten (again) by Colorado Avalanche center Tyson Jost (17) for the go-ahead goal (2-1) during the second period Saturday at Amalie Arena. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Little goes right for Tampa Bay, which is dominated by Colorado.
  4. The Tampa Bay Lightning's alternate jerseys hang in the locker room last season. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    The “Disrupt the Night”-themed jerseys were a bone of contention among some fans and broadcasters last season because of illegible numbers.
  5. Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) scores against Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) in a shootout on Oct. 17 in Boston. The Lightning won 4-3. ELISE AMENDOLA  |  AP
    Journal: Tampa Bay will spend three games at home before another extended stint on the road, and tonight’s post-game concert is moving inside.
  6. Former Lightning wing Ryan Callahan's debut as an NHL Network analyst is drawing positive reviews. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Slap Shots: And we answer this week’s reader’s question: Why doesn’t Victor Hedman play more minutes, like other No. 1 defensemen?
  7. Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) celebrates with teammates after he scored in overtime of the team's NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 in Sunrise, Fla. The Avalanche won 5-4. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) WILFREDO LEE  |  AP
    Now the Avalanche head to Amalie Arena for a showdown with the Lightning on Saturday.
  8. Nikita Kucherov teams with Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos to give the Lightning one of the most potent top lines in the league. They'll face off against another "super line" Saturday against Colorado. Tampa Bay Times
    After the Boston Bruins’ super trio, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov look for more success against Colorado’s concentrated scorers.
  9. Tampa Bay Lightning center Alex Killorn (17) and right wing Luke Witkowski (28) celebrate with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) after the Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout in an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) ELISE AMENDOLA  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay: There was bad news Thursday in the Tampa Bay penalty box, for USF’s Blake Barnett, for the Yankees and the NFL’s reigning MVP.
  10. Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) goes down along the boards as he chases the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning centers Alex Killorn (17) and Anthony Cirelli (71) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Boston. ELISE AMENDOLA  |  AP
    Diana C. Nearhos’ notes from the game: Why not try Mikhail Sergachev with Ryan McDonagh? Point empty on the shootout again.