The Tampa Bay Lightning have their work cut out for them against the Montreal Canadiens this afternoon. Goaltenders Anders Lindback and Ben Bishop are both sidelined, which has forced Tampa Bay to summon two netminders from the AHL with a combined five games worth of NHL experience.
Now it looks like the Lightning will also be without forward Valtteri Filppula, according to Tampa Tribune writer Erik Erlendsson. He sustained a lower-body injury during Thursday’s contest against Ottawa and is day-to-day.
Filppula has been one of the Lightning’s best forwards this season with 19 goals and 40 points in 54 games. His absence will put even more pressure on Martin St. Louis, who has been one of the main reasons Tampa Bay hasn’t collapsed since they lost Steven Stamkos.
As tough as it will be for them, this remains a critical game for Tampa Bay. The Lightning currently rank second in the Atlantic Division, but Montreal is just four points behind them. The match will start at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Update: The Lightning caught a bit of a break as Bishop is healthy enough to start after all.