Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Alex Killorn apologizes to Paul Ranger for hit

TORONTO — Alex Killorn reached out to Paul Ranger as soon as he could to apologize.

Ranger, a Maple Leafs defenseman, was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher wearing a head and neck restraint with 4.1 seconds left in the first period of Wednesday night's game after Killorn, a Lightning left wing, hit him from behind into the end boards at the Air Canada Centre.

Ranger was taken as a precaution to a hospital, where the Leafs reported he was "stable, conscious and alert." Ranger played for Tampa Bay from 2005-10, and at least one of his former teammates had his phone number. Killorn said he got Ranger's voice mail.

"I'm going in to hit him, and he makes a quick turn," Killorn said. "I'm already committed at that point. I'm trying to think of what else I could have done … to prevent that. It's just a tough, quick, bang-bang play."

Killorn, 24, was given a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct that carries an automatic $200 league fine and a likely appointment with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.

"That's a tough one," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said after Tampa Bay's 5-3 win. "I don't think there was any intent on (Killorn's) part to do that. That's not the way he plays."

As medical staff, including Lightning head trainer Tommy Mulligan, worked on Ranger — and former Lightning teammates Nate Thompson, Ryan Malone and Teddy Purcell, and former Toronto teammate Mike Kostka watched — the decision was made to play the final 4.1 seconds of the first period before the start of the second.

Tampa Bay C Valtteri Filppula won the faceoff in the Lightning zone. Tampa Bay also got a break when a tripping penalty on Joffrey Lupul negated two minutes of the final 2:34 of Killorn's penalty.

"A turning point in the game when we killed that off," Cooper said of preserving a 3-2 lead.

Said Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle of Ranger: "You try to use it as motivation for the players and get (the win) for him, and we fell short."

Killorn, who had only 54 penalty minutes in 106 career games entering Wednesday, said he is "happy (Ranger) is okay," and noted there has been "nothing dirty" in his career.

Still, captain Steven Stamkos said, "Those are the plays we're trying to get rid of. 'Killer' didn't mean to do it, but it's a scary situation. We just hope that 'Range' is okay and he's doing all right."

UP AND COMING: There is talk the Lightning might sign Cody Kunyk, 23, a forward out of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior, who last summer attended Tampa Bay's prospect camp, had 11 goals and 28 points in 37 games.

ODDS AND ENDS: Filppula has two goals, eight assists in a six-game points streak. … C Tyler Johnson's 22 goals are one off Stamkos' team rookie record. … LW Ryan Malone's two assists gave him 200 Lightning points. … LW Ondrej Palat's five-game points streak ended. … Forwards Nikita Kucherov and Richard Panik and defensemen Keith Aulie and Mark Barberio were scratched.

. Tonight

Lightning at Senators

When/where: 7:30; Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa.

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 970-AM.

Key stats: The Lightning has lost five straight at Ottawa while being outscored 21-12, and nine of the past 10 (1-6-3). … Ottawa's Erik Karlsson leads league defensemen with 62 points on 17 goals, 45 assists. … Tampa Bay G Ben Bishop is 3-0-0 in three games against his former team with a 2.25 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. … The Lightning is 6-2-1 in the second of back-to-back games.

Alex Killorn apologizes to Paul Ranger for hit 03/19/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:14am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen jogs back to the dugout after paying starting pitcher Tyler Duffey a visit on the mound in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  2. State baseball: Bishop McLaughlin bows out in Class 3A semifinals


    FORT MYERS — One inning into Bishop McLaughlin's Class 3A state semifinal against Fort Myers Canterbury, things could not have gone much better for the Hurricanes. They grabbed a quick one-run lead and Canterbury ace Sam Keating was forced out of the game with a nagging neck injury.

     Chris Berglund (18) of Bishop McLaughlin, at bat during second inning of the FHSAA class 3A semi-final on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Canterbury, Fort Myers, defeated Bishop 7 to 4. Canterbury will play in the 3A championship tomorrow.
  3. Bucs WR DeSean Jackson knows only one direction: full speed ahead


    TAMPA — DeSean Jackson is the "1."

    Actually, Jackson, the Bucs' latest weapon for quarterback Jameis Winston, with his blazing speed and game-changing splash plays, wears No. 11 in games.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  4. Video preview: Rays open tough road trip facing Twins tonight


    After splitting a four-game series against the Angels to wrap up a winning homestand, the Rays tonight open a nine-game, 10-day roadtrip with the first game of the weekend series with the Twins:

  5. For starters: Rays, Archer take on surprising Twins to open road trip


    UPDATE, 6:37: Cash said it was a combination of wanting to keep Dickerson, who is a team-best . 358 against lefties, in the lineup and Santiago's splits. ... Cash said there was nothing new on the injured players back at the Trop, with Brad Boxberger still slated to throw live BP on Monday in Port Charlotte, …