Monday, April 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Jonathan Drouin hurt, leaves win over Islanders after hit

BROOKLYN — Lightning RW Jonathan Drouin left Tuesday's 6-1 victory over the Islanders early in the first period and did not return. Drouin most likely went through the concussion protocol after taking a hit to the head by Islanders D Calvin de Haan.

Coach Jon Cooper said Drouin left as a precaution and was in "good spirits." Drouin was scheduled to be evaluated today.

On Drouin's first shift, he had his head down while reaching for a loose puck near the Islanders blueline when de Haan delivered a shoulder/elbow up high. Drouin skated slowly to the bench, then to the dressing room with head athletic trainer Tommy Mulligan.

And de Haan, who got a five-minute major penalty for interference, will have his hit reviewed by the NHL's department of player safety. RW Ryan Callahan came to Drouin's defense, fighting de Haan and picking up a 10-minute misconduct.

Drouin had five points (two goals, three assists) in his first nine games.

HIS TURN: D Slater Koekkoek made his long-awaited season debut a day after getting recalled from AHL Syracuse, and had two assists and a plus-2 rating in 13:12 of ice time.

"It's encouraging," Koekkoek said. "I've worked hard for it, and am thankful for the opportunity."

Koekkoek, 22, was on the opening-night roster. But after being a healthy scratch the first three games, he was sent to Syracuse to get playing time. And he felt he performed well, with two assists in five games. With the Lightning struggling defensively, Koekkoek replaced scratched D Nikita Nesterov. It's up to Koekkoekk to grab the role.

"His ability to defend — which is something we're not doing right now," Cooper said. "Hopefully he can add a spark for us."

BISH PLEASE: As much as the six goals Ben Bishop allowed Sunday weren't completely his fault, he still was happy to get the nod again Tuesday.

"You want to get back at it," Bishop said before his 26-save performance against the Islanders. "You don't want to sit on that for too long."

Bishop said he set up what will likely be a long dentist appointment on today's day off in Tampa. He has to replace two front permanently fake crowns that were knocked out Oct. 25 in Toronto.

"Hopefully it's not too abrasive," Bishop quipped.

ODD MAN OUT: With 13 healthy forwards, Cooper has some tough lineup decisions on who sits. "Terrible," he said. RW J.T. Brown was a healthy scratch Sunday and C Cedric Paquette was Tuesday. "It's not going to be the same guy sitting up front all the time," Cooper said. "Guys are going to have to earn their playing time."

COMING THURSDAY: The Lightning is hosting "Hockey Fights Cancer Night" against the Bruins. For the league-wide initiative players will wear lavender jerseys during warmups, which will be auctioned on tbl.com/hockeyfightscancer. Moffitt Cancer Foundation will get a $5,000 grant from NHL.

NUTS AND BOLTS: Tampa Bay had three first-period goals, matching its total from the first nine games (other three Oct. 25 in Toronto). … The lines got shuffled, with Brayden Point playing with Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn.

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

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