Lightning forward Cedric Paquette will be a gametime decision for tonight’s potential Eastern Conference Final close-out game against the Rangers, though the decision may have already been made.
“He’s questionable in your terms,” Bolts head coach Jon Cooper said during today’s media availability. “Very questionable.”
Paquette appeared to injure his right hand while blocking a Derick Brassard shot in the first period:
Paquette’s gone to the locker room pic.twitter.com/JnZODIrIav
— Stephanie Vail (@myregularface) May 25, 2015
The gritty forward, who’s appeared in 17 of Tampa Bay’s 18 playoff games thus far, returned after some time in the dressing room, but finished with just 5:43 of ice time — well off his 12:36 TOI per game average this postseason.
Paquette then briefly participated in today’s optional morning skate, before retreating to the dressing room.
If Paquette can’t go tonight, it’s expected that Vladislav Namestnikov will draw in. The Russian forward has one assist in 11 playoff games this spring.