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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]
Victor Hedman will play in the Lightning's preseason game against Nashville. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Sep. 20, 2019

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


Curtis McElhinney

Spencer Martin


  1. Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) celebrate after he beats Arizona Coyotes goaltender Adin Hill (31) to score the first goal of the game during first period action at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020 in Tampa. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The Lightning forward has hovered just below 20 goals for years and finally reached the mark Friday.
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) leads the celebration as players contratulate right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) after he beat Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) to tie the game 3-3 in the final moments during third period action at Amalie Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 in Tampa. The Lightning went on to win 4 to 3 in the shootout.  [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Tampa Bay went from sixth place in the Atlantic Division to second behind a 10-game win streak.
  3. Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) gets beaten by a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov (86) as Lightning's Steven Stamkos (91) looks on during first-period NHL hockey game action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. [JOHN WOODS  |  AP]
    Tampa Bay pours on the goals with seven total, including two from Nikita Kucherov.
  4. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Luke Schenn (2) celebrates his goal, the first of the game, along with right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) and center Tyler Johnson (9) beating New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) during first period action at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Tampa. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Tampa Bay also reassigned Alex Volkov to AHL Syracuse as Pat Maroon returned to the lineup.
  5. Minnesota Wild's Zach Parise (11) tries to control the puck the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning's Jan Rutta (44) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. [HANNAH FOSLIEN  |  AP]
    Tampa Bay falls off a recent trend of strong defense and lets Minnesota dictate the game.
  6. Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper watches from the bench as his team plays against the Minnesota Wild during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. [HANNAH FOSLIEN  |  AP]
    Even if the play is erased by an earlier offsides, the penalty still must be served.
  7. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) in the tunnel before heading out to the ice for warms ups before taking on the New York Rangers at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Tampa.  [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Playing in Minnesota is special for McDonagh, who grew up 12 miles from St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.
  8. Canada's Geneviève Lacasse (31) blocks a shot by United States' Kendall Coyne Schofield (26) during the third period of a rivalry series women's hockey game in Hartford, Conn., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) [MICHAEL DWYER  |  AP]
    Teams representing the United States and Canada will play a 3-on-3 scrimmage as part of the festivities in St. Louis next week.
  9. TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 14: (Editor's Note: Image was digitally altered)  The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Los Angeles Kings fathers, brothers and mentors during the Kings' annual team trip at Amalie Arena on January 14, 2020 in Tampa. (Photo by Casey Brooke Lawson/NHLI via Getty Images) [CASEY BROOKE LAWSON  |  NHLI via Getty Images]
    The Kings are the latest team to bring their annual trip to Tampa. The Capitals and Senators have also done so this year.
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Alexander Volkov (92) before Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Kings. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    Also, Kings’ Jonathan Quick takes a Steven Stamkos one-timer up high.