It’s turning out to be a really good thing that the Lightning won Game 1 of their series with Washington because they’ll be working at quite the disadvantage in Game 2 tonight. We saw Simon Gagne leave Game 1 after hitting his head on the ice after taking a hard check and while that scene was scary, the assumption was that he’d miss some time. The same was the case for Pavel Kubina after taking a hit from Jason Chimera in Game 1 that put him out of the game.
Both of those players will be out of tonight’s Game 2 in Washington and in their place a pair of Joneses will help fill their spots as Randy Jones will slot into Kubina’s place on the blue line and Blair Jones will take Gagne’s spot. For both Randy and Blair Jones (they’re unrelated) it will be their first appearances in these playoffs.
Tampa Bay’s style is a tight-knit one that allows for holes to be filled seamlessly but clearly the Joneses are a step down from what Kubina and Gagne can bring to the lineup. Gagne’s had seven points so far in the playoffs (2 goals, 5 assists) good for fourth on the team. Thankfully for the Lightning they’ve been getting big production out of their third line with Dominic Moore and Sean Bergenheim as well as stunning production from Steve Downie. Lightning coach Guy Boucher is hopeful that both Kubina and Gagne can play in Game 3.