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Lightning pregame: Dan Girardi’s injury status downgraded to out

Jon Cooper complimentary of Jan Rutta before tonight’s game against Washington.
Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi has been downgraded from day-to-day to out indefinitely. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi has been downgraded from day-to-day to out indefinitely. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Mar. 20, 2019
Updated Mar. 20, 2019

WASHINGTON — For 11 days, Dan Girardi has been listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He has now been downgraded to out indefinitely.

Jan Rutta has played five games while Girardi and Anton Stralman have both been out, his first since the Lightning traded for him on Jan. 11. Jon Cooper has liked what he’s seen out of Rutta so far.

“It is good to see,” Cooper said. “We put Rutta in the situation, see if he can handle it. He’s done a really good job so far. We just played Washington a couple of nights ago, and it was a bit of a heavyweight tilt. He held his own. It’s good to see that guys can play in big games.”

He’d rather not lose guys to injury, especially because it will take a couple of games to get back to form. But maybe testing the depth is the silver lining there.

Stralman will not play on this trip (Washington tonight, Carolina on Thursday, St. Louis on Saturday), but Cooper is hoping he’ll return shortly thereafter.

Cameron Gaunce was recalled on an emergency basis as the Lightning had only the six healthy defensemen and then returned to the AHL for a game and recalled again. He played with the Crunch in Charlotte on Tuesday (recording a point in the 2-1 overtime win).