Tampa’s improved depth is going to be put to the test going into tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. LW Ryan Malone suffered an undisclosed lower body injury prior to Sunday’s game against the New York Rangers. Many players take part in a pre-warm up skate soccer game and that seems to be what aggravated a lingering ailment.
Lightning head coach Guy Boucher estimated that Malone could miss as much as 3-4 weeks. Bugsy is hoping that he’ll miss less time. This marks the third consecutive season that the winger has missed time due to injury.
With Malone’s movement to the IR, the Lightning have recalled Richard Panik from the Syracuse Crunch. Panik has 21 goals and and 14 assists through 43 games with the Crunch this season.
“Panik is a big guy with tremendous speed,” Guy Boucher said. “He’s a solid hockey player. He’s got unbelievable hands and skills, and sometimes has shown flashes of brilliance.” (Quote Source: NHL.com)
It’ll be a big night for two of Tampa’s prospects. Panik will make his NHL debut and Alex Killorn will play his first game at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.