The Tampa Bay Lightning's injury woes continued with the announcement by the team Friday that right wing Steve Downie will be out "indefinitely" with a sprained ankle. Downie was hurt in Thursday's 8-1 loss to the Bruins. It was originally believed Downie had broken his ankle when hit by a shot. He missed almost the entire third period.
It has been quite a stretch for Tampa Bay, which has not had its top two lines together since Oct. 21. It was then that Simon Gagne began an 18-game streak on the sidelines because of a neck injury. Captain Vinny Lecavalier has missed 11 straight games with a knuckle injury and likely will be out at least another two weeks. Now, add Downie, who is the muscle and grinding energy of the top line with center Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis.
No doubt, the loss will keep the pressure on St. Louis and Stamkos to play more minutes than coach Guy Boucher wants. Boucher already has said that both players seem tired. Stamkos is without a goal in four games. St. Louis has played at least 20 minutes in 15 straight games. Boucher has said he wants his top forwards to play about 18.