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Lightning pregame: Three players out of lineup with injuries as Tampa Bay faces Red Wings

The Lightning enter the contest without defensemen Dan Girardi and Anton Strålman and forward Adam Erne.
 
Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi (5) and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) look on from the bench after the Wild scored a goal by left wing Jason Zucker (16). The goal was reviewed and was called a good goal.
Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi (5) and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) look on from the bench after the Wild scored a goal by left wing Jason Zucker (16). The goal was reviewed and was called a good goal.
Published March 9, 2019|Updated March 9, 2019

TAMPA – For the first time this season three players will be sitting out of a game with injuries. Prior to tonight’s matchup only two players at a time have sat out of games with injuries.

Dan Girardi, Anton Strålman and Adam Erne did not participate in Saturday’s morning skate with the rest of the team.

Jan Rutta was recalled yesterday evening for tonight’s contest against Detroit. Whether he’ll stay on the roster for the road trip next week has yet to be determined.

However, coach Jon Cooper did say Girardi (lower-body injury), Strålman (lower-body injury) and Erne (upper-body injury) will be on the trip next week after this morning’s practice.

[ Up Next: vs. Red Wings, 7 p.m. Saturday | TV/Radio: CITY, TVAS2, FOX SPORTS SUN, FS-D, AM-970 ]

Given the injuries, it is expected that Rutta will make his Lightning debut tonight pairing up with one of the remaining five defensemen on tonight’s lineup.

With Girardi and Strålman out of the lineup, the defensive pairings are expected to shift tonight. Mikhail Sergachev was practicing on the same defensemen line as Victor Hedman this morning. Rutta was skating with Braydon Coburn (who normally partners up with Sergachev on the third defensemen pairing) during practice.

Rutta said he got the call to fly down yesterday afternoon around lunchtime.

“It’s great to be here and it’s a great organization,” he said. “The team’s doing really well, so I’m really happy I’m here right now and we’ll see how things go.”

Rutta said he’s been using the ice time at Syracuse to help build his confidence. He added the coaches there are really demanding but that helps with player development.

With Erne out of the lineup tonight, Ryan Callahan is expected to fill his spot on the fourth line. Yanni Gourde practiced with the fourth line this morning in Erne’s place, moving Mathieu Joseph to the third line with Anthony Cirelli and J.T. Miller up to the first line with Steven Stamkos.

Louis Domingue was the first goaltender off the ice this morning following practice so it is expected he will be the starter tonight against the Red Wings going head-to-head against Jonathan Bernier.

The Lightning enter the contest on a 13-game win-streak against Detroit. But the team isn’t keeping tabs on streaks of any kind at the moment. “I think it’s just taking one game at a time,” Tyler Johnson said. “We don’t really focus on streaks, whether it’s winning or losing, and we’re just focused on the task at hand and I think that’s benefited us throughout the year.”

Morning lines:

Ondřej Palát-Steven Stamkos-J.T. Miller

Tyler Johnson-Brayden Point-Nikita Kucherov

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Alex Killorn-Anthony Cirelli-Mathieu Joseph

Yanni Gourde-Cedric Paquette-Ryan Callahan

Defensive pairings:

Victor Hedman-Mikhail Sergachev

Ryan McDonagh- Erik Černák

Braydon Coburn-Jan Rutta

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.