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NHL - US Sports: Lightning continue to size up for playoffs

The Tampa Bay Lightning have continued to size up their forward group ahead of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the acquisition of Nick Paul from the Ottawa Senators.

The Lightning, 17/2 to win the Stanley Cup for a third season in a row, lost Yanni Gourde (Seattle Kraken), Barclay Goodrow (New York Rangers) and Blake Coleman (Calgary Flames) who made up their double championship winning third line in the recent off-season.

Ever-changing line-up

In response, they veteran signed Corey Perry who has contributed 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in 61 games, and have further tried to support their three-peat chances by bringing in 27-year-old Paul, and 23-year-old Brandon Hagel from the Chicago Blackhawks.

The deal to bring in Paul came with an exchange for Mathieu Joseph and a fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

Paul has scored 18 points, including an NHL career high 11 goals, in 59 games this season for the Senators. He led Ottawa in takeaways (48) and was second among forwards in shorthanded ice time per game (2:12).

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Paul fits the bill

The 6'3" forward had a total of 66 points (29 goals, 37 assists) in 227 regular season games for the Senators. He is yet to appear in the playoffs.

Lightning General Manager Julien BriseBois commented: "We felt we could use more size and physicality from our forward group.

"We had the opportunity to address that by acquiring Nick Paul, who's game is moulded for playoff hockey success.

"He's big and heavy and physical, he blocks a lot of shots (41 this season), he can play both center and wing. Nick Paul is the type of player we think we can win with. And not just this season, but beyond."

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