Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Braydon Coburn out injured as Lightning defense gets thinner

PHILADELPHIA — The Lightning all of a sudden has a banged-up blueline.

Veteran D Braydon Coburn missed Monday's game, and is likely out again tonight against the Bruins, with a lower-body injury apparently suffered Saturday. D Andrej Sustr (lower body) missed his third consecutive game, though he hopes to be back tonight.

The Lightning recently dealt with the absence of D Jason Garrison for 10 games, but this is the most injuries defensively at one time this season. Coach Jon Cooper said his team has weathered the storm before, and can again.

It won't have to for long, with Sustr participating in Monday's morning skate and likely a game-time decision tonight. Coburn could be back Friday against the Flyers, his former team.

D Slater Koekkoek was called up Sunday and stepped in Monday and played his eighth NHL game, picking up his first career point (an assist) in the 4-2 loss to the Flyers.

"We lost, it doesn't mean anything now," Koekkoek said. "It's nice to get, but we should have won that game."

Familiar face: D Radko Gudas was excited to face the Lightning Monday for the first time since getting dealt at last season's deadline in the Coburn trade. Gudas who missed the teams' first meeting in the season opener.

"All the guys know, on the ice, there are no friends," he said.

Gudas, a third-round pick in 2010 by Tampa Bay, played parts of three seasons with the Lightning. He said he was in Tampa during the playoff run last summer, really happy for his former teammates to reach the Stanley Cup final.

Gudas is doing well with the Flyers, coming off a two-goal game Saturday and entering Monday with 249 hits. "They made me feel welcome right away," Gudas said. "I didn't have a hard time getting used to the team."

Lining up: G Andrei Vasilevskiy started in the arena where he had his NHL debut (and first win) Dec. 16, 2015. RW Jonathan Marchessault returned after being a healthy scratch the previous two games. RW Erik Condra was scratched.

Contact Joe Smith at [email protected]. Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

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