Ondrej Palat, Jake Dotchin good to go for tonight
The Lightning finally got some good news on the injury front Saturday, with both wing Ondrej Palat and defenseman Jake Dotchin available tonight against the Capitals.
Palat and Dotchin missed Friday's practice and were questionable, but both participated in today's morning skate.
However, Vladislav Namestnikov (who skated in red jersey), Cedric Paquette and Tyler Johnson are all out. And coach Jon Cooper said he doesn't have an idea on when they'll be back.
"Between player transactions and injuries, to have that many players down the middle go out is numbing," Cooper said.
The Lightning needs a major response tonight after a 5-0 loss to the Maple Leafs Thursday, which pushed them one point out of the second wild card spot.
"We have to win tonight," Cooper said. "We need the points."
Captain Steven Stamkos, who went through his first full team practice Friday, was back on the ice today. He was still working out a half hour after a lot of his teammates left the ice.
Cooper reiterated that Stamkos wants to return this season, but won't until he's fully ready.
More from skate: G Andrei Vasilevskiy will start in net. Former Lightning first round pick Brett Connolly has blossomed in Washington, with 15 goals in 56 games. "He's just a natural ability to score," Cooper said. "I think it took him a little time to find his way in the league, but he's found a home in Washington. He's kind of settled into a really good spot. They've got some guys that carry the spotlight there, the Ovechkins and Backstroms. And Brett slides in there and quietly has 15 goals. he can do that. He's become that secondary scoring that teams desperately look for. It took him a little time to mature in the league. I'm happy for him, because he's found a home and he's really good kid."