1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Lightning pregame: Ondřej Palát returns to lineup against Capitals

The Tampa Bay forward left Monday night’s game in the first period with an upper-body injury.
Washington Capitals left wing Jakub Vrana (13), of the Czech Republic, works for the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18), of the Czech Republic, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Published Mar. 30
Updated Mar. 30

TAMPA – Tampa Bay’s Ondřej Palát is returned to the lineup in tonight’s matchup against the Washington Capitals.

Palát took a big hit from Boston’s Connor Clifton just over six minutes into the first period Monday and went to the locker room after the shift. He did not return to action for the rest of the contest after sustaining an upper-body injury on the play.

More Lightning: When do you know? Ask the Capitals

He missed Tuesday’s practice, but skated on Friday and again Saturday morning. Cooper said he feels good about Palát’s return on Saturday against the Capitals.

With Palát back in the lineup, Mathieu Joseph will be a healthy scratch tonight along with Danick Martel and Cameron Gaunce.

Cooper expects veteran defenseman Anton Strålman to return to the lineup as well at some point during the Lightning’s road trip next week.

More Lightning: Lightning's Ryan Callahan nominated for Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Tonight’s matchup marks the end of its regular season games at home. The next time the team will play on home ice will be the week after next when the playoffs begin.

Tampa Bay is on a four-game win-streak coming into tonight’s contest and has won 12 of its last 13 games at home.

With a win tonight, the Lightning can make history once again tying the 1976-77 Montréal Canadiens for the second-most wins in a regular season (60).

Contact Mari Faiello at Follow @faiello_mari.


  1. Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price deflects a Tampa Bay Lightning shot during the second period Tuesday. PAUL CHIASSON  |  AP
    Diana C. Nearhos’s takeaways: A streak broken for Jonathan Drouin, fun in-game player videos.
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77), right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) and center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrate a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during a game in Toronto this month. COLE BURSTON  |  AP
    The Bolts are home for games against the Avalanche and Penguins, plus wrestling and volleyball.
  3. Montreal Canadiens goalie Keith Kinkaid (37) makes a pad save during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 9. JEFFREY T. BARNES  |  AP
    Montreal’s backup goalie has an emoji language ‘Kincode’ to refer to his teammates.
  4. Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy blocks a Montreal Canadiens shot during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Montreal. PAUL CHIASSON  |  AP
    It wasn’t perfect, but the Lightning addressed some of their previous issues after a lackluster loss.
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) warms up before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) ALASTAIR GRANT  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What else went wrong in London, ranking the Rays, Lightning worries, Gators’ SEC title hopes.
  6. Montreal Canadiens left wing Jonathan Drouin (92) takes a shot during the first period of a game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., on Oct. 3, 2019. GERRY BROOME  |  AP
    Also, Tampa Bay’s practice picks up in intensity after a day off ... and a lackluster showing on Saturday.
  7. The Lightning's alternate "disrupt the night" jerseys will be back for weekend games at Amalie Arena this season. SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    “Disrupt the night” jerseys return for weekend games, starting on Saturday.
  8. Lightning forward Yanni Gourde and the rest of the team have to play with more consistency. The fifth of six consecutive road games takes place Tuesday in Montreal. FRED CHARTRAND  |  AP
    A Stanley Cup favorite beat the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, but a lackluster group fell to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
  9. Ottawa Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki (74) collides with Tampa Bay Lightning centre Alex Killorn (17) and centre Anthony Cirelli during second period of NHL action in Ottawa, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. FRED CHARTRAND  |  AP
    Diana C. Nearhos’ takeaways: Brayden Point shouldn’t be dropping the gloves. Lightning aren’t rolling four lines. Senators’ arena leaves a lot to be desired.
  10. Ottawa Senators center Vladislav Namestnikov (90) attempts to check Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) during first period of NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday. FRED CHARTRAND  |  AP
    Tampa Bay drafted Namestnikov in the first round eight years ago. He had two goals and an assist for the Senators.