J.T. Brown to miss rest of series for Lightning
The Lightning has been dealt another blow injury-wise, with forward J.T. Brown expected to miss the rest of this first-round series, and possibly more, due to an upper body injury suffered in Friday's Game 2.
Brown, 25, a key cog on the Lightning's shutdown line and penalty kill, got hurt in the first period while blocking a shot near the blueline. He didn't return. Brown had a career bests in goals (eight), points (22) and plus-minus (plus-16) this season.
"It's our third playoffs together, and if you're going to pull that unsung hero tag, he's definitely at the top of the list," coach Jon Cooper said. "He won't light the scoreboard up in points, but you're not going to find too many more bigger gamers than J.T. Brown. That's a tough loss for us. But in the mantra of the (Steven) Stamkos' and (Anton) Stralman's, let's just keep this going and make sure that wasn't J.T. Brown's last game."
For Game 3 Sunday in Detroit, expect wing Erik Condra or Jonathan Marchessault to take Brown's spot. Both Condra and Marchesssault have been scratched the first two games.
More from today's availability: The Lightning, though feeling good with a 2-0 lead heading to Detroit, is well aware this series is far from over. "We haven't really accomplished anything yet," defenseman Matt Carle said. "We held serve winning our two home games, we can expect a new level of desperation from them (Sunday). We've got to be ready for that. You want to take advantage of teams. Look at our playoffs last year, we played 26 out of a possible 28 games I don't know if that really made a difference at the end, but you can't really expect to do that year in and year out. We have a pretty good opportunity here to focus on the next game and really try to take advantage of the hole we can put these guys in.".. While G Ben Bishop has seemed to fly under the radar in the first two games, with C Tyler Johnson's line's exploits, he's played a key role, especially in a penalty kill unit that's gone 8-for-9. Bishop has stopped 66 of 70 possible shots. "He was a big factor in Game 1, I don't know if we win that without him," Cooper said. "Our penalty kill has been getting a few accolades, but who is the guy with all the saves back there? It's Ben Bishop." Funny line by Valtteri Filppula, asked if he expects an "angry" Red Wings team Sunday. "I think they've been pretty angry so far." And on the home crowd in Tampa the first two games. "I'm surprised there wasn't more red, but happily surprised."