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Lightning brings star power to third preseason game

Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and other NHL regulars will play against Nashville
Victor Hedman will play in the Lightning's preseason game against Nashville. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Sep. 20

BRANDON — The Lightning’s lineup for Friday’s preseason game against Nashville will look like the more like its final version that the previous two games. This edition features more NHL regulars.

Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat will play for their first time this preseason. They’ll be joined by Cedric Paquette, Mikhail Sergachev and Braydon Coburn. New backup goalie Curtis McElhinney will also see his first action.

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Highly-touted prospects Carter Verhaeghe, Alexander Volkov and Mitchell Stephens will also play on Friday.

Hedman and Sergachev are paired together, as they have often been in training camp. One of the questions facing the defensemen is who will play with Hedman after the Lightning didn’t re-sign Dan Giradi (who announced his retirement Friday).

Sergachev brings strong skating with an offensive upside to the pairing. Kevin Shattenkirk, an offseason signing, has played a top role in the past and could also be a good fit.

At forward, the triplet line of 2015 has been reunited, with Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov playing together at least for the night.

Forward lines

Ondrej Palat-Tyler Johnson-Nikita Kucherov

Carter Verhaeghe-Cedric Paquette-Alexander Volkov

Danick Martel-Jimmy Huntington-Mitchell Stephens

Boris Katchouk-Gemel Smith-Dennis Yan

Defensive pairings

Victor Hedman-Mikhail Sergachev

Braydon Coburn- Ben Thomas

Luke Witkowski-Jan Rutta

Goalies

Curtis McElhinney

Spencer Martin

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