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Lightning F Ondrej Palat expected to miss Game 2

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Ondrej Palat (left) is expected to miss Game 2 with an upper-body injury. (USATSI)
Ondrej Palat (left) is expected to miss Game 2 with an upper-body injury (USATSI)

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With injuries to key players left and right all year, one has to wonder which member of the Tampa Bay Lightning walked under a ladder. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper had a great quote in his meeting with the media Thursday that offers a glimpse into their mindset when it comes to dealing with the number of injuries they've dealt with.

"Adversity ... that word went out the door quite some time ago. Don't even use it anymore, we just think it's the norm. It's like, 'Welcome to Tuesday,'" he said.

Well, it was Thursday at the time and the news didn't get better Friday. The Lightning revealed that do-everything rookie Ondrej Palat is not expected to play in Game 2 against the Montreal Canadiens.

The 23-year-old forward left Game 1 with an upper-body injury. He only missed one game all season with an injury, Tampa's regular-season finale. To go down again a week later has to be frustrating.

Palat, who surely received some first-place votes for the Calder Trophy, plays in all situations for the Lightning. He is one of the club's top penalty killers and also plays on the power play. He had 23 goals and 59 points in the regular season, while showing a strong defensive game as well.

The former seventh-round pick has proven to be extremely valuable, which will make starting Game 2 without him a tough task for the Lightning, a team also dealing with the loss of their No. 1 goaltender in Ben Bishop, who may be out for some time.

Welcome to Friday, Tampa.

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