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Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina out with injury

OTTAWA — The Lightning's already stressed blue-line situation got even worse Monday.

D Pavel Kubina did not play against the Senators because of a lower-body injury. And GM Steve Yzerman said D Mattias Ohlund, who last week had a significant setback in his recovery from arthroscopic surgeries on both knees and is no longer skating, is out indefinitely.

"I don't know when he will be back," Yzerman said of Ohlund, who had the double procedure Oct. 11. "He's just having a difficult time trying to get back to health."

Yzerman said new MRI exams might be done this week "just to see what's going on in there and if there were any changes."

Kubina, with a previously undisclosed injury sustained in the final minutes of Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Rangers, said he, too, could have an MRI if his injury does not improve, though he had not yet ruled out playing today against the Islanders.

Bruno Gervais took Kubina's spot against Ottawa, his seventh game of the season and first after eight straight as a scratch.

The loss of two of Tampa Bay's biggest bodies off what already is a struggling defensive corps — Ohlund is 6 feet 4, 229 pounds; Kubina is 6-4, 258 — was enough for coach Guy Boucher to say he feels snakebit and Yzerman to ponder whether to call up a player from AHL Norfolk.

The Lightning last week acquired defensemen Mike Kostka and Evan Oberg from the Panthers for D Mike Vernace and C James Wright, and Admirals defensemen Radko Gudas and Mark Barberio are playing well, though Yzerman would rather not take them out of a good developmental situation.

Besides, he said, "Kuby shouldn't be out very long … We'll re-evaluate after the game (with Ottawa). We could get someone from Norfolk to Long Island (today)."

"We've got the players we've got, and that's what we've got to work with," Boucher said.

"But let's not kid ourselves," he added. "We're not in a position as a team to lose defensemen and keep playing and look the same way. The reality is, it's something we have to improve. … Guys want more ice time. Now, they got it. It's time to shine for some guys."

FAMILIAR GROUND: RW Ryan Shannon played in Ottawa for the first time since leaving the team during the summer to sign with Tampa Bay as a free agent.

"It's exciting," Shannon said, "a little motivation."

Shannon has had an uneven transition. He has shown good speed and has worked hard to learn the system but has just one goal and five points in 19 games and is minus-7. He had 11 goals last season for the Senators.

"It's a normal process," Boucher said. "It's not something that happens overnight. Some days it's terrific. Some days he's the first one to say he wants to do better."

"It's progressing, going forward," Shannon said, "just looking for that breakthrough game."

ODDS AND ENDS: RW Adam Hall was scratched for the second straight game. … With Monday's loss, Tampa Bay dropped to 4-17-4 in Ottawa since 1998-99.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina out with injury 12/05/11 [Last modified: Monday, December 5, 2011 11:48pm]

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