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Lightning subbed in a former goalie at morning skate

Braydon Coburn returned to the ice, but there’s no update on Tyler Johnson
Lightning coach Jon Cooper, left, said Andrei Vasilevskiy will start in goal for the Lightning Saturday night against Washington at Amalie Arena. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
Lightning coach Jon Cooper, left, said Andrei Vasilevskiy will start in goal for the Lightning Saturday night against Washington at Amalie Arena. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Dec. 14, 2019

TAMPA — Something looked a little different when the Lightning skated Saturday morning. The first goalie on the ice wasn’t Andrei Vasilevskiy and he wasn’t Curtis McElhinney. He wasn’t even on the roster.

Matheiu Garon, who finished his 12-year career with two seasons in Tampa Bay, stood in the far net. But don’t worry, Vasilevskiy took his spot in the starter’s crease a couple of minutes later.

Garon works with the Lightning Foundation’s community hockey program. So he’s on hand when the team needs someone to fill in in net a couple of times a year.

Related: Andrei Vasilevskiy hasn't played like last year, but he's trending up

McElhinney was unavailable for morning skate, but coach Jon Cooper said he would be ready to back-up Vasilevskiy for Saturday’s game against the Capitals.

The Lightning were joined by another familiar face at morning skate: Braydon Coburn.

The defenseman has missed nine games with a lower-body he sustained against the Capitals on Nov. 29 (interesting timing). This was his first time skating with the team.

Cooper didn’t have a timeframe for Coburn’s return, saying it’d probably be after Christmas.

He also did not have an update on Tyler Johnson. The forward has missed three games since leaving Saturday’s win over the Sharks in the third period, and has not skated with the team.

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