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Already depleted defense takes big hit



Lightning coach Guy Boucher drew laughs when he ended his postgame press conference Tuesday by joking, "Anybody play defense here?" But that didn't hide the concern Boucher has for the fact the Lightning lost its top two defensemen - Eric Brewer and Victor Hedman - to upper body injuries in the team's 5-1 win over the Flyers. Brewer did return in the third after leaving with eight minutes left in the second, a result of taking several punches in a fight with Wayne Simmonds. But Boucher said both Brewer and Hedman, who hurt himself hitting the end boards, will be re-evaluated Wednesday. "It keeps on happening here," Boucher said. "We keep on having adversity over adversity since the beginning of the year." The absence of either Hedman or Brewer would be a huge blow, much less both. They log the most minutes, play against the top lines and are big on penalty kill. Considering veteran Mattias Ohlund hasn't played at all this season, and Matt Gilroy (lower body) is still out, there's very little depth to be tapped into. - Joe Smith

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 12:12am]


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