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Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

Lightning veteran likely to be sidelined with an upper body injury

The Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday night still featured the usual post-game music in the dressing room.

But there was more of a somber tone with veteran right wing Ryan Callahan's right arm in a sling. Callahan, who got hurt on a nasty spill into the boards in the third period, could be out an extended period, with the team expecting to find out more Friday.

"(The win) is kind of bittersweet with Cally going down," captain Steven Stamkos said. "I'm sick to my stomach to watch a guy work as hard as he did to come back, play so well and to have something like that. It didn't look very good."

Callahan had been phenomenal with five shots and three blocks after returning following a one-game absence. But in the third period, Callahan raced for a loose puck deep in the Arizona zone and got tied up with Arizona's Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Ekman-Larsson pulled Callahan into the boards, the Lightning wing hunched over in pain favoring his right wrist/arm. He skated off and right into the dressing room.

Coach Jon Cooper said Callahan will be evaluated Friday, but that it's "probably longer than day-to-day."

"You feel so bad for him," Victor Hedman said. "He's battled hard through the whole year, and is such an important player for us."

Said Brayden Point: "A heart and soul kind of guy."

With Callahan out, the Lightning still has an extra forward – J.T. Brown was a healthy scratch Thursday. If Tampa Bay decides to make a callup, betting someone like Adam Erne gets the nod. Erne, a power forward fit for the bottom six, has got rave reviews from AHL Syracuse brass recently, as has Anthony Cirelli.