SUNRISE — The Lightning defense, already without Mattias Ohlund (knees), sustained another blow Sunday when Victor Hedman was held out of the win over the Panthers.
He is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, coach Guy Boucher said.
Boucher cryptically indicated Hedman's injury was worse than the upper-body injury of LW Ryan Malone, who left the 4-3 shootout win in the second period. Boucher said he hopes Malone will be ready for Wednesday against the Flyers and said the injury has nothing to do with one that caused him to miss an Oct. 30 practice.
"He's bashed up because he pays the price and goes to the tough areas," Boucher said.
Hedman was hurt Friday against the Blackhawks, though he did not leave the game and skated in Sunday's warmups. He said he had an MRI exam that showed no significant damage.
Still, his loss is significant. He and Eric Brewer were the No. 1 pairing. Brewer played with Matt Gilroy against Florida, and Bruno Gervais played after nine straight games as a scratch.
"We're missing a lot right now," Boucher said of the blue line. "Let's not kid ourselves. It puts a lot of guys in spots they're not used to managing."
WAKE UP: With the Lightning 3-4-2 on the road and outscored 16-8 in first periods, Boucher said he will return to the routine the team used last season, when it won 21 road games.
Tampa Bay had a meeting Sunday at its hotel before it went to the rink, as opposed to meeting at the rink, which it has done this season. That way, players cannot nap as late and can avoid what Boucher called "coma mode."
"We wake up the mind before we get to the rink so we don't wake up in the middle of the second period," he said.
There will be fewer morning skates and more body activations, such as Sunday's shirts-and-skins football game. The players did that a lot last season, not so much this season.
Boucher said he also will insist players eat breakfast.
"A lot of our guys don't eat breakfast," Boucher said. "They have coffee and leave. It's the most important meal of the day. If you miss the most important meal of the day, you're not going to give yourself a chance to be at your best."
Tampa Bay was not at its best in the first period against Florida. It was outscored 3-0 and outshot 16-9. But Boucher said the new/old routine's effects might be cumulative.
C Dominic Moore said it's worth a try: "I don't think it's a bad thing to get your mind going early."
C Steven Stamkos agreed but added, "At the end of the day, it shouldn't matter what we do. We should be prepared. We have to find ways to come into games and start a lot better."
ODDS AND ENDS: Moore's shootout goal was Tampa Bay's first this season in nine tries. … Brewer's two assists gave him four for the season. … Florida's power-play goal was the eighth in 17 tries against the Lightning, which has allowed 10 power-play goals all season. … Gervais played a season-high 19:54, had a shot, blocked a shot and had two hits. … LW Ryan Shannon was scratched.