The growing list of injuries for the Tampa Bay Lightning
includes one of the league’s most dynamic goal scorers, but they
still have Martin St. Louis in the fold.
He’ll look to help Tampa Bay win for the ninth time in 10 home
games Saturday night as it faces the Winnipeg Jets, who conclude a
six-game road trip.
Steven Stamkos was tied for the NHL lead with 14 goals when he
suffered a broken leg Nov. 11, and he’s since been joined by Ryan
Malone (broken ankle), Eric Brewer (lower-body injury) and Radko
Gudas (upper body) with various ailments.
Keith Aulie suffered a broken hand in Thursday’s 3-1 victory
over Ottawa and will miss extended time after surgery, and fellow
defenseman Victor Hedman left in the first period with a lower-body
“They’re going to call us the Syracuse Lightning pretty soon,”
coach Jon Cooper said in reference to the team’s AHL affiliate.
“It’s emotional and physically taxing. You’re playing with
unfamiliar guys all the time and it’s tough to get synergy and
Cooper said Hedman isn’t likely to play Saturday.
”I don’t know when he’s coming back,” Cooper said. ”He’s more
a day to day. We’ll see what happens, but I don’t expect him back
St. Louis came up big Thursday for the short-handed Lightning
(17-10-1), scoring twice while playing on a line with Ondrej Palat
and Tyler Johnson. Palat assisted on both St. Louis goals, with
Johnson earning an assist on the second.
“Those guys play pretty fast and we need to try and build off
this,” St. Louis said. “It’s different playing with them on the
ice, but it was a good first game.”
“The chemistry is going to take some time,” Palat added. “We had
a big win and now we just need to build our swag up.”
Tampa Bay now faces a Winnipeg team coming off a 5-2 loss to
Florida on Thursday. Captain Andrew Ladd and Olli Jokinen scored
for the Jets (13-13-4), who are hoping to finish their trip on a
“We want to finish up 4-2. Looking at it right now, 3-3 would be
a pretty big disappointment,” Ladd said. “We were (ticked off)
about (Thursday’s game) and we’ll go from there.”
Bryan Little is the only Jet in double digits with 12 goals, but
he hasn’t scored in his last seven.
”We didn’t have very many good players (Thursday),” coach
Claude Noel said. “We had a hard time getting guys engaged in the
Evander Kane missed his second straight contest with a
lower-body injury, and Noel doesn’t think Kane will be able to go
“He’s a little ways away by the looks of things,” Noel said.
“It’ll be a game-time decision, but I’m not quite sure he’s there
Michael Frolik sat out the last contest with the flu, but he is
on track to play against the Lightning.
“Frolik is better, got some fluids back in him and is eating,”
Noel said. “He looks like he’s a player for (Saturday).”
Winnipeg has won three straight meetings, including a 4-3
victory April 16 as Ladd had two goals and an assist and Ondrej
Pavelec finished with 24 saves.
Pavelec could be in net for this contest while opposing Ben
Bishop, who is 2-2-1 with a 0.99 goals-against average over his
last five starts for Tampa Bay.