Cooper shuffles lines for tonight's game against Wild
Coach Jon Cooper shuffled his lines for tonight’s game against the visiting Wild in an effort to produce more goals after his team scored once in regulation during the past two games.
Rookie center Yanni Gourde was moved to the second line with Alex Killorn and Brayden Point. Adam Erne, who took six shots during Monday’s 1-0 overtime loss to the Rangers, is on the third line with Jonathan Drouin and Vladislav Namestnikov. Gabriel Dumont is on the fourth line with Cedric Paquette and J.T. Brown.
The first line remains the same with the Triplets – Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov.
“I don’t know, trying to move some things around,” Cooper said after the morning skate. “We just got to get some guys going offensively. What we start with tonight might not be what we finish.”
Johnson, who won a team record 22 faceoffs Monday, said the drought is not for a lack of effort or chances.
“I think we’ve had the opportunities, we’ve had the chances. For whatever reason, they’re not going in,” he said. “We’re missing the net, that kind of thing, but we got to keep doing what we’re doing, bare down a little bit harder and make sure we put them in.”
-- Andrei Vasilevskiy will be in net tonight against the Western Conference-leading Wild (90 points).
-- The Lightning (69 points) begin tonight four points out of the Eastern Conference Wild Card spot. The three teams ahead of them in the Wild Card standings – the Islanders (73), Maple Leafs (72), Flyers (70) – are all in action. The Leafs and Flyers face each other in Toronto.