Why split up the Triplets? ‘Sometimes it’s good to shake it up a little bit’

AP
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The Triplets were split up again this morning, as the Lightning took their pre-game skate ahead of tonight’s meeting with the Red Wings in Detroit.

Ondrej Palat was on the top line with Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan, while Palat’s usual spot with Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson was occupied by Alex Killorn.

It was the same combination that coach Jon Cooper turned to Sunday in Carolina, where Johnson scored his first goal of the season and the Lightning came away with a 4-3 victory, snapping a four-game winless slide in the process.

“It didn’t work for us, got split up,” Palat told the Tampa Bay Times. “I played with Stammer and Cally. They played great with Killer. Sometimes it’s good to shake it up a little bit.”

Meanwhile, Stamkos predicted that the “floodgates are going to open for” Johnson, who failed to scored in his first 12 games, despite racking up a combined 30 shots.

We’ll see if Stamkos is proven correct. The Lightning are off to a sluggish start after nearly winning the Stanley Cup in June. They haven’t done anything particularly well…

Lightning

…and while Cooper has tried to stay positive, they clearly haven’t looked as good as they did a year ago. Hence, the shake-up in lines.

The Lightning play tonight in Detroit, Thursday in Buffalo and Saturday in Minnesota.

Updated with a quote from Cooper: