There were a few eyebrows raised when Valtteri Filppula only played 3:47 over the final two periods of Wednesday’s Game 7 against Detroit — sitting out the entire final frame — but Lightning GM Steve Yzerman wouldn’t comment on a potential injury prior to Friday’s Game 1 against Montreal.
Filppula played just 10 minutes, 24 seconds Wednesday; his last shift was late in the second period. When asked if Filppula was hurt, general manager Steve Yzerman said, “Nothing to report at this time.”
It’s hard to say why Filppula would’ve sat if there was no injury. He seemed to be performing well prior to the decrease in playing time, going 7-of-13 in faceoffs while receiving time both on the power play and penalty kill. That said, he had long stretches between shifts in the middle period and played a mere 130 seconds at even strength.
(It is possible Filppula was hurt on this hit from Pavel Datsyuk.)
The 31-year-old, who averaged over 19 minutes per game during the regular season, did have a bit of a tough time overall in the Detroit series — like several of his counterparts — and saw his ice time drop to 16:27 over the seven games, while finishing with a minus-5 rating.