Lightning D Jason Garrison sidelined for game against Kings, questionable for Sunday
The Tampa Bay Lightning will be without Jason Garrison on Saturday night, and there's a chance the veteran defenseman won't be available Sunday as well.
Coach Jon Cooper ruled Garrison out for Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Kings at Amalie Arena and called the player's status questionable for Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks in the finale of a brief two-game homestand.
Garrison, 30, sustained a lower-body injury in a victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night at American Airlines Center. He's considered day-to-day, though Cooper doesn't envision Garrison's absence to be "extremely long term."
"Garry is a big penalty killer, so other guys are going to have to step up and kill penalties," Lightning coach Jon Cooper told reporters Saturday. "If you don't want to do that, don't take penalties. ... Ultimately, in the end, you just keep it simple, push the pucks up as fast as we can and defend."
Garrison has three goals with 17 assists and averages 20:13 of ice time per game. The absence is another hit to Tampa Bay's defensemen, a group that's without Radko Gudas (surgery on his right knee) and Matt Carle (torn adductor muscle). Cooper said Garrison is one of Tampa Bay's most physical defensemen, someone who would be valued in matchups against strong Western Conference teams.
"That's a big hole, especially against the teams we're going to play against," Cooper said of Garrison. "We've just got to find a way."
You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at email@example.com.