Illness spreading through Lightning room
First, it was defenseman Victor Hedman who missed three games with an illness.
Then defenseman Jason Garrison was scratched Saturday due to a similar bug. Garrison hasn't skated since Thursday, so he could be out again Tuesday against the Blackhawks.
The illness isn't going away. It's spreading.
"It's leaking through our team and staff," coach Jon Cooper said.
Garrison didn't participate in Monday's practice in Scottsdale, so his status is uncertain for Tuesday. Wing J.T. Brown (upper body) did have his first full team skate with contact, but he may not be ready to be back Tuesday. Forward Erik Condra, who cleared waivers Sunday, was with the team in practice.
"We'll have to wait and see," Brown said. "Not sure yet."
The Lightning (21-22-5), which has fallen to last place in the Eastern Conference, badly needs wins to salvage this make-or-break, six-game trip. Tampa Bay has just three points in the first four games, with matchups against Chicago and Florida looming. The Lightning is five points out of the second wild card and third place in the Atlantic, but have a lot of teams to climb.
"Obviously we never want to be in the spot we're in," goalie Ben Bishop said. "But at the same time, we're still in striking distance. We want to go on a run."