Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi question marks for Lightning after leaving with injuries

Lightning left wing Ryan Callahan, shown in the first period Saturday, left the game late in the second period with what looked to be a right shoudler injury. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Lightning left wing Ryan Callahan, shown in the first period Saturday, left the game late in the second period with what looked to be a right shoudler injury. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published April 14

TAMPA — Saturday's resounding 5-3 playoff win for the Lightning may have come with some potential losses as well, as Tampa Bay played the final period without two injured players in RW Ryan Callahan and D Dan Girardi.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper had no update on the injury status of his players after Saturday's win. Game 3 is set for Monday in New Jersey.

"It kind of changed things a little bit, obviously, for us, but no update, sorry," Cooper said of the shorthanded play in the final period.

Callahan was checked by Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen late in the second period — he took a shot to his right shoulder and went down on the ice, going immediately to the bench and down the tunnel to the locker room. Callahan missed five games in March with a right shoulder injury, after missing three weeks in December.

There was no specific word on Girardi's injury, though he played his normal minutes in the first two periods, playing 16 shifts and registering two hits. His extensive playoff experience would be missed if he were unable to play in games at New Jersey this week.

The two injuries left the Lightning with only 11 forwards and five defensemen for the final period, which saw the Devils take 19 shots, even pulling their goalie in the final two minutes trying to cut into a two-goal Lightning lead.

POWER SURGE: Facing a Devils penalty kill that ranked eighth in the NHL in the regular season, the Lightning found success on its power play for the second game in a row.

After going a combined 0-for-13 on the power play in the final four games of the regular season, Tampa Bay is now 3-for-4 against New Jersey — 1-for-1 in Thursday's win and 2-for-3 Saturday on goals from Alex Killorn.

ANOTHER FIRST: Tampa Bay got on the scoreboard first when Brayden Point scored with 7:45 left in the first period, getting the thrill of his first playoff goal.

"I was so excited — it's a feeling you can't really explain. You almost black out in the celebration," Point said. "It was a great play by (Tyler Johnson) to get it to Pally (Ondrej Palat), and they all kind of closed on Pally and he finds me in open ice on the wing."

BOLTS BITS: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in attendance for Saturday's game. … New Jersey hadn't lost back-to-back games in nearly a month, going back to March 18. The Devils went 7-1-1 to close out the regular season, but now have lost in regulation in both games against the Lightning. … Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh led the team with 30 shifts each, but Anton Stralman had the most ice time at 24:45, taking extra time on the ice after Girardi left due to injury.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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