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Thursday, 09.20.2007 / 3:17 PM ET / Lightning Insider
By Lightning Insider
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Let Tampabaylightning.com become your destination for all the latest Lightning scoops. The Lightning Insider will be in the stands, in the locker room and on the road with the team throughout the 2007-08 season to provide you with a positive look at the Bolts as they pursue Lord Stanley’s hardware. Our resident snoop will post the latest following practices and morning skates, and he’ll make sure you’re the first to know when the Lightning are making news.
Reviewing The First Preseason Game

A win is always nice (especially in overtime) and while some teams might not worry about the outcome during the preseason, John Tortorella doesn’t necessarily concur. After practice in Brandon today Torts said he felt it was important to get a win so the players could get in the correct mindset moving forward.

“[Mike Sullivan] asked me on the bench, ‘it’s a close game, do we want to keep playing the kids,’ ” Tortorella said. “I said ‘we want to win!’ ”

On the team’s overall play, Tortorella was noncommittal.

“We did some good things, but we need to work on a lot of things,” he said. “I’m not going to break things down too much until we get closer to our roster.”

Speaking of the roster, Tortorella said he expects it to be 26 players following Saturday night’s cuts. He also praised the play of Andreas Karlsson and especially Brad Richards, and he revealed that Johan Holmqvist will start and play the entire game vs. Washington Saturday night.

Other notes from the opener:
  • Chris Gratton (scratched cornea) and Michel Ouellet (left hamstring strain) are both listed as day-to-day by the Lightning, but neither injury is considered serious. Gratton took a stick to the eye in the first period and was lucky he wasn’t injured worse. He saw Lightning eye specialist Dr. Charles Slonim after the game.
  • Jan Hlavac will also be in the lineup Saturday. Tortorella said he was upset he wasn’t on the ice Wednesday as he continued to recover from his bruised instep.
  • Richards was the best player on the ice; a fantastic sign for Lightning fans. He seems to be in the best shape of his life.
  • Darche continues to impress, and Tortorella said the injury situation could make the roster decisions a little more interesting than expected. Darche’s overtime winner affirmed his ability to be a finisher. 
  • Mike Lundin played 21:10 and showed great poise considering it was his first pro game. 
  • Marc Denis looked sharp and gave the team a chance to win – something Tortorella is always looking for. Denis took the bullet for Dallas’ first goal. “I made the initial save, then [Shane O’Brien] told me he accidentally batted the rebound in. I need to control the rebound better.”
Here’s the roster of players traveling with the Capitals for Saturday’s game:

19 BACKSTROM, Nicklas
56 BOURQUE, Chris
10 BRADLEY, Matt
87 BRASHEAR, Donald
17 CLARK, Chris
27 CLYMER, Ben
15 GORDON, Boyd
38 KLEPIS, Jakub*
25 KOZLOV, Viktor
50 MOTZKO, Joe
92 NYLANDER, Michael
28 SEMIN, Alexander
39 STECKEL, David
16 SUTHERBY, Brian
57 WILSON, Kyle

44 EMINGER, Steve
52 GREEN, Mike
23 JURCINA, Milan
26 MORRISONN, Shaone
34 POKULOK, Sasha
2 POTHIER, Brian
3 POTI, Tom
55 SCHULTZ, Jeff
89 SLOAN, Tyler*

35 CASSIVI, Frederic
1 JOHNSON, Brent
37 KOLZIG, Olie
30 NEUVIRTH, Michal