Team Updates Ahead of Tonight’s Battle of Florida.

(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Here we are again for our Thursday status report ahead of tonight’s Tampa Bay Lightning game against the Florida Panthers. Let’s get into what we know right now.

1. The team announced today that Jon Cooper and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare have been cleared from the COVID protocol list. We should see Cooper back behind the bench and Bellemare back in the lineup tonight. There was no further update regarding others previously in the protocol including Andrei Vasilevskiy and Brian Elliot.

2. Taylor Raddysh, Cal Foote and goalie coach Frantz Jean have all been added to the COVID protocol list. With Raddysh out of the lineup, Bellemare will likely draw back into the lineup in a one for one swap.

3. Alex Barre-Boulet was recalled from Syracuse this morning and added to the taxi squad. It is unlikely at the moment that he draws into the lineup tonight.

4. Recently recalled Darren Raddysh will make his NHL debut tonight. Ironically enough, it will be as his younger brother Taylor will not be in the lineup tonight. When Raddysh came to the organization this past offseason and was recalled this past week, we thought we would have the chance to see the Raddysh brothers lace them up together in the NHL. It may happen at some point but not tonight.

5. Maxime Lagace will likely start once again in the Lightning net. With no update on the statuses of Vasilevskiy or Elliot, Lagace will most likely make his second consecutive start after earning the win Tuesday night in his Lightning debut.

Tampa Bay will have their hands full tonight in the battle of Florida. Tampa Bay has won once and lost once so far against the Panthers. Both games were played at home, and this will be the first meeting in South Florida since last year’s playoffs. Florida will be playing the second game of a back-to-back after defeating the New York Rangers 4-3 a night ago.

One other point worth mentioning is that Play-by-Play Commentator, Dave Randorf has also entered COVID protocol. Hall of Fame Lightning announcer Rick Peckham will back on the mic calling tonight’s game. Don’t miss it.

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