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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


Curtis McElhinney

Spencer Martin


  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.