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Yet another injury results in another callup for Lightning

Jon Cooper said it's uncertain if Tanner Richard will make his debut tonight, but he's earned it.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Jon Cooper said it's uncertain if Tanner Richard will make his debut tonight, but he's earned it.

20

December

Just when the Lightning thought it was getting healthy, another callup from AHL Syracuse arrived Sunday, with wing Tanner Richard potentially making his NHL debut tonight.

"We have to," coach Jon Cooper said. "We've got to have enough guys around to play."

It's been that kind of season for the Lightning. With rookie wing Yanni Gourde (upper body) day-to-day and back in Syracuse, and wing J.T. Brown (undisclosed) also banged up, Richard provided some insurance up front. Right wing Erik Condra (lower body) will play against his former team, Ottawa, his first game since Nov. 5.

But center Cedric Paquette (upper body), Tyler Johnson (undisclosed), Ondrej Palat (left ankle) and Jonathan Drouin (lower body) are still not ready to return, albeit getting closer. Enter Richard, a third-round pick in 2012, a veteran of 166 AHL games, who led the Crunch with 11 assists.

Cooper said it's uncertain if Richard will make his debut tonight, but he's earned it.

"That kid spent a couple years in the American League and he's gotten better and better and better," Cooper said. "One thing I like about Tanner, he's feisty. He's got a little bite to him."

Cooper didn't elaborate on the injury to Brown, who didn't practice Saturday, only saying he's day to day. Brown took a hard hit by Matt Niskanen Friday in Washington. His absence hurts as he's been one of the team's most consistent forward the past two months.

Goalie Ben Bishop is in net, 7-0-3 against the Senators, his former team.

[Last modified: Sunday, December 20, 2015 4:27pm]

    

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