The Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night will look to even their second-round Stanley Cup Playoffs series against the Boston Bruins.
But Tampa Bay’s task will be that much harder, as Lightning coach Jon Cooper revealed to the media Tuesday morning that defenseman Ryan McDonagh will not play in Game 2 at Scotiabank Arena.
McDonagh suffered an undisclosed injury Sunday night in Game 1, which Boston won 3-2 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
McDonagh had an awkward collision with Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton about five minutes into the third period of the series opener, so it’s likely that’s what caused the injury. McDonagh’s next shift lasted just 14 seconds, and he exited after for the remainder of the contest.
It’s unclear how long McDonagh will be sidelined, but this is a huge blow to Tampa Bay’s blue line. The 31-year-old leads all Lightning skaters in average time on ice this postseason, and his presence inherently takes pressure off fellow defensive stalwart Victor Hedman.
McDonagh’s absence might really be felt on the penalty kill, which is tasked with slowing down Boston’s elite power play. The Bruins went 1-for-3 with the man advantage in Game 1.
Cooper wouldn’t reveal who will draw into Tampa Bay’s lineup in place of McDonagh, but it’s worth noting the teams will be dealing with a short turnaround, too. Game 3 is scheduled for Wednesday night.