TAMPA — Nick Paul and Victor Hedman are both questionable and game-time decisions ahead of tonight’s game against the Sabres, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.
Paul exited Tuesday’s game against the Hurricanes early, while Hedman has missed the last two games after sustaining an upper-body injury Oct. 29. Both participated in the team’s optional morning skate. How the pair felt afterward would determine their status, Cooper said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if both play, and I wouldn’t be surprised if neither of them play,” Cooper said. “We’ll see how they feel later today.”
After scoring Tampa Bay’s second goal Tuesday night, Paul landed on the back of the net and “kinda dead-legged myself.” Steven Stamkos had flung the puck toward the net from a tight angle along the boards, and Paul — while deflecting the pass into the net — got tangled up with Carolina defenseman Jalen Chatfield.
Paul played just one shift in the third period before exiting, and he didn’t participate in the team’s practice Friday after appearing on the ice briefly ahead of the session.
Following the Lightning’s optional morning skate today, Paul said he feels “a lot better than what I did coming out of that game.”
Cooper also said that Brian Elliott will start in net against the Sabres. It will be the fourth appearance of the season for Elliott, who has won consecutive starts after allowing five goals against the Penguins on Oct. 15.
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