Hoping to avoid a second straight home loss to the
Timonen is expected to replace
Quenneville also said
Quenneville said he reinstated Timonen for several reasons. "He gives us some predictability. I think his coverage in the [defensive] zone, strength in the puck area," Quenneville said. "He's smart, experienced. I think he did a good job for us throughout the playoffs. Gives him a chance to get in here in a good moment, a big moment. His reads and his position awareness and coverage in his own end will help him."
Timonen said he was told Monday morning that he would play. “I’m really excited. It’s been a long couple of weeks,” said Timonen, who last played on May 25, in Game 5 of Chicago’s seven-game
Quenneville said he commended Timonen for being "a good pro. Not easy being in a situation before, you're not playing and want to be in the lineup in the worst way. He's been going about his business quietly, knowing that I'm sure deep down he's been waiting for this moment …. He's practiced well. Put him in the position to get in the lineup as well by the way he's handled things."
Quenneville said he put Versteeg back in because "he gives us a threat offensively, defensively aware, strength in the puck area. He can make some plays. I think he can add to some of our offense."
Versteeg said that, while the Lightning's speed is a challenge, "we know we can play against any team in the league." He added, "Speed's important against these guys. You don't get much time and space. They take it away fast. They have some big, strong [defensemen] that make you pay. Your space isn't there so you've got to create a little extra, whether that's taking a hit or doing an extra thing to create a little more space, you've got to do it."
"This is a group that has been through a lot," he said. "We were in the same situation and kept it calm and confident and pushed it through. We'll do the same here."