Injury Bug Hits Tampa Bay Lightning


Feb 15, 2015; San Jose, CA, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) pushes the puck up the ice against San Jose Sharks left wing Matt Nieto (83) during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The injury bug has hit the Tampa Bay Lightning as the Bolts are going to be without three regulars for a number of weeks.

Ondrej Palat is expected to miss two to three weeks while Braydon Coburn will miss four to six weeks with lower body injuries. Cedric Paquette will miss 10-14 days with an upper body injury.

The injuries come at a bad time for the Bolts as they battle to win the Atlantic Division and earn home ice in the playoffs.

The Lightning have recalled Mike Angelidis from Syracuse while J.T. Brown will draw back into the lineup after finding himself a healthy scratch in recent weeks. Angelidis has played in seven career NHL games, all with Tampa Bay.

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Palat, who has formed one of the most dynamic lines in hockey with Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov, has 52 points this season (15 goals) in 64 games and is fifth in the NHL in plus-minus.

Coburn, who was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers on trade deadline day, has two assists in four games with Tampa Bay while providing a level of aggression not often found in Lightning blue liners.

Matt Carle is reportedly close to returning to the lineup after a long layoff due to injury while Nikita Nesterov will likely fill the gap until Carle’s return.

Paquette has 19 points (12 goals) as a bottom-six forward but has regularly provided a spark to the team’s offence with well-timed goals and a dominant forecheck.

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