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Lightning Down to 24 on NHL Roster

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced the team reduced their training camp roster by three today, per vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman. Following today’s cuts the Lightning have 24 players on their roster. They must get down to 23 by Tuesday afternoon.

The players assigned to Syracuse were forwards Jonathan Marchessault and Cedric Paquette, as well as defenseman Luke Witkowski. Marchessault played in three preseason games and recorded two goals with 4 points, tied for third on the team. Paquette appeared in four exhibition games, recording a goal and two points. Witkowski skated in four preseason contests with a plus-4 rating and an assist.

BP Commentary: The key part of this announcement is who’s left. Waiver exempt players Vlad Namestnikov, Nikita Kucherov, Jonathan Drouin, and Andrej Sustr have made the team, at least temporarily. There wasn’t much question with Kucherov or Drouin, but Vladdy played himself onto the roster – at least until Drouin is healthy enough to play. Drouin remains out with a thumb injury and can be put on injured reserve. A report from TSN this weekend said the Lightning were toying with the idea of putting him in AHL Syracuse for a couple weeks of rehab play, which is allowed though Drouin is too young to play full-time in the AHL.

Juniors Game Night: 10-5-14

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Chicoutimi Sagueneens 4 @ Quebec Remparts 5 (OT)

W/C Adam Erne, QUE: 0-0-0, +2, 4 PIM, 2 Hits, 4 SOG, 3/10 FO
Season totals: 3 GP, 1-5-6, +4, 6 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM

Erne was scoreless after starting the season with two straight 3-point games. His Remparts are 3-0 with him in the lineup.

Ontario Hockey League

Sarnia Sting 2 @ Mississauga Steelheads 1

D Anthony DeAngelo, SAR: Did not play
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-1-1, -3, 13 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM

Sarnia won their first game of the year despite being without star defenseman Anthony DeAngelo. The Lightning’s first round pick in the 2014 draft was suspended because he took a game misconduct at the conclusion of Sarnia’s last game for having words with a referee. Considering DeAngelo went into the draft with numerous red flags for character issues, this latest act can’t be sitting well with the Lightning.

AHL Preseason Game Day: 10-5-14 Crunch at Senators (In France!)

One day removed from a 3-1 victory over French league club team in Lyon, France, Syracuse fell 6-0 to the Binghamton Senators today. Kristers Gudlevskis was in net for Syracuse. The team awaits final Lightning roster cuts expected to come down Monday or Tuesday before they head into the regular season.

Juniors Game Night: 10-4-14

Ontario Hockey League

Erie Otters 4 @ Sarnia Sting 2

D Anthony DeAngelo, SAR: 0-1-1, -2, 6 PIM
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-1-1, -3, 13 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM

DeAngelo notched his first point of the year on an assist late in the first period that gave the Sting a 2-0 lead. They’d also hold a 3-1 lead and the game was tied at 3 entering the third period before the mighty Otters blew the game open.

Saginaw Spirit 4 @ Windsor Spitfires 1

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, *Third Star*
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM

DiGiacinto made his season debut after sitting out three games to complete a suspension issued in last year’s playoffs. He started on the first line for the Spits and was named third star.

Western Hockey League

Tri-City Americans 0 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 5

C Brayden Point, MJ: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 5 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 2 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 36-55-91, -27, 53 PIM

Point had two assists for the second straight game, helping the Warriors to a commanding win over visiting Tri-City.

Kootenay Ice 4 @ Calgary Hitmen 6

D Ben Thomas, CAL: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 5 GP, 1-1-2, E, 4 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM

Thomas (pictured, Calgary Sun photo) scored his first goal of the year, shorthanded. Calgary rebounded from a 4-1 deficit to defeat Kootenay, 6-4.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 10-4-14 Panthers at Lightning

Closing arguments for the Lightning's young forwards.

FLA-1
TB-4

Ben Bishop looked to be in midseason form allowing 1 goal on 37 shots for the victory. Florida was clearly embarrassed in their last outing and for getting blitzed in the First Period again tonight. They were out for redemption, but Bishop was having none of it.

First Period
3:21 FLA Barkov (1), (Campbell, Kulikov)(PP)
5:46 TB Kucherov (1), (unassisted)
10:21 TB Stamkos (1), (Hedman, Callahan)(PP)
18:59 TB Brown (1), (Boyle)

Second Period
4:40 TB Stralman (1), (Johnson, Killorn)(PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Nikita Kucherov, Bishop, and Victor Hedman were the game's three stars.

Now the Lightning's brass will convene for the difficult decision of shaping the team's 23-man roster for opening night. They likely have a little more breathing room with the option of putting Jonathan Drouin on short-term IR and giving him a brief conditioning stint in the AHL when he gets off it, but the numbers game still is a difficult one. Mind you, they may have tipped their hand by putting Vladislav Namestnikov in the lineup tonight ahead of Cedric Paquette and Jonathan Marchessault, but we shall see.

Two things I feel very confident about after this preseason, though: 1.) Andrej Sustr and I will always have difficulty finding shirts with the proper sleeve length, and 2.) Jon Cooper will be drinking a fine, very old scotch out of the Governor's Cup by season's end. Book it.

Box score from NHL.com.

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