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Shuffle will continue with tonight's lineups

By JOANNE KORTH, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 24, 2002


BRANDON -- The Lightning played with desperation in its first preseason game, an 8-1 win at Atlanta Friday. The next night, it was flat in a 2-1 loss to Columbus.

BRANDON -- The Lightning played with desperation in its first preseason game, an 8-1 win at Atlanta Friday. The next night, it was flat in a 2-1 loss to Columbus.

So which team will take the ice in Game 3 tonight when the Lightning plays Eastern Conference champion Carolina at TECO Arena in Estero? "There definitely was no sense of urgency in our play (Saturday), but at the same time we have a lot of different guys in the lineup who are trying to fit in," right wing Martin St. Louis said. "That's why we have exhibition games, to get our timing and shake off the cobwebs. You have to play a couple games."

Against the Thrashers, the Lightning went with predominantly young players eager to make an impression. The blowout victory raised expectations for Saturday, when many of Tampa Bay's proven scorers hit the ice for the first time.

"There wasn't a whole bunch of determination," coach John Tortorella said. "No one had a good game, but it was just one of those games. Was the desperation there? No. But a number of players struggled. Hopefully, it will be remedied."

Tonight's lineup features potluck lines, though Tortorella said not to read too much into the odd combinations. He will be looking mostly at individuals, with an eye toward trimming the roster from 32 players to 25 or 26 on Sunday.

INJURY UPDATE: Left wing Fredrik Modin (tendinitis) and defenseman Jassen Cullimore (thigh contusion) did not practice Monday. Both could have played had it been a regular-season game.

Modin said the pain near the outside of his right hand is unrelated to the wrist injury that required surgery last season.

Goaltender Kevin Hodson, who did not play Saturday after being hit in the protective cup by a close-range slap shot, and defenseman Darren Rumble (groin strain) returned to practice.

GET YOUR PROGRAMS: Twenty players will dress tonight: centers Brad Richards, Vinny Prospal, Alex Svitov and Martin Cibak; left wings Ruslan Fedotenko, Nikita Alexeev, Andre Roy and Gordie Dwyer; right wings St. Louis, Ben Clymer, Sheldon Keefe and Dmitry Afanasenkov; defensemen Nolan Pratt, Mathieu Biron, Brad Lukowich, Pavel Kubina, Rumble and Dan Boyle; and goaltenders Hodson and Evgeny Konstantinov.

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