TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning return home Tuesday from a five-game road trip to host a playoff rematch against the New Jersey Devils.
But Tampa Bay faces the Devils without Norris Trophy winning defenseman Victor Hedman and Selke-caliber forward Ondrej Palat. Both players were injured on the recent road trip and expected to miss at least the next two games.
Hedman suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury in the second period against Vegas on Friday when he was hit by Ryan Reaves and fell awkwardly in to the boards, appearing to injury his shoulder/back area. Palat was also injured against the Golden Knights midway through the third period when he blocked a shot off his foot.
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said on Monday that Hedman, who was schedule to be evaluated at the end of the week, could now miss more time than originally thought while the team is waiting on further testing to determine Palat's absence while listing him as day-to-day.
"Victor will be re-evaluated here, but we are not expecting him back right away," Cooper said. "And Palat we are waiting for some more information."
Both players have been ruled out for through the end of the week while a pair of weekend road games at Montreal and Ottawa look "doubtful" at this point, according to the Lightning coach.
"Anytime you miss one game, I think that's a lot of time," Cooper said. "But the games will add up here, especially we're playing every second night now and games are back-to-backs, when you miss a week or two that means you are missing six or seven games, which is tough. But both guys are healing and hopefully they'll be back soon."
While the Lightning are dealing with injuries, the Devils are getting healthier. >> Read more
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