TAMPA — The Lightning seemed to dodge a bullet Wednesday as G Ben Bishop left the morning skate with a yelp of pain after taking a puck off his right hand near his thumb.
Coach Jon Cooper said the goalie was okay, and Bishop, on his way out of the building, said the same. It was a brief positive moment for a team with a rapidly expanding injury list.
Seven players are hurt, including star C Steven Stamkos, out indefinitely with a broken leg, and LW Ryan Malone, on injured reserve with what is believed to be a chipped ankle bone from blocking a shot Friday at Anaheim.
In response to Malone's designation, Dana Tyrell was called up from AHL Syracuse.
"It's been tough," Cooper said. "The depth in the organization gets tested. The problem is we're really testing it."
Tampa Bay already has called up Syracuse forwards J.T. Brown and Nikita Kucherov, both of whom are still with the team. F Brett Connolly and D Dmitry Korobov have been up and sent back down.
"I'm not sure what Rob Zettler is thinking of me right now," Cooper joked about Syracuse's coach. "We're staying afloat with a lot of guys from the minors, and that's a tribute to what Rob's doing down there. He's got the guys ready for when they come up. I don't even think twice about calling someone up and putting them in, because they know exactly what we're doing."
What Cooper has done this season is more than ever ask its forwards to play team defense.
The result: "(Stamkos) gets hurt back-checking. Malone gets hurt blocking a shot," Cooper said, and laughed. "All this 'defense first' is taking our guys down a little bit."
MORE MEDICAL MATTERS: D Keith Aulie (upper body) played against the Flyers after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. … D Radko Gudas (upper body) is expected back "soon," Cooper said. … LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie "tweaked something" in an arm during a fight Monday against the Rangers. … F Tom Pyatt (collarbone) said he should be cleared to play Tuesday at Columbus.
VINNY'S NIGHT: Flyers and former Lightning C Vinny Lecavalier was named a Community Hero for his charity work in the Tampa Bay area. The distinction came with a $50,000 donation by the Lightning to the Vinny Lecavalier Foundation.
DANA REDUX: Tyrell, with his straight-ahead, grinding style, always has been a fan favorite. Up from Syracuse, he has another chance to prove he belongs in the NHL.
"You only get so many chances, and this is another chance for me I'm thankful to have," said Tyrell, 24, who played at least parts of the past three seasons with Tampa Bay.
Tyrell has three goals and four points in 16 games for the Crunch.
"You're not worried about Dana's statistics. That's not what he brings to the table," Cooper said. "He brings speed, energy. He pushes defenses back."
ODDS AND ENDS: Regardless of what happened to Bishop at the morning skate, Anders Lindback was to start in net against the Flyers, Cooper said. … The Lightning played 11 forwards and seven defensemen. … Tyrell was scratched.