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With Alex Killorn out, Mathieu Joseph draws in for Lightning

Joseph was in the lineup for the first time since Game 3 of the opening-round series against Florida.
Lightning right wing Mathieu Joseph (7) battles to stay on the puck against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period of Game 2.
Lightning right wing Mathieu Joseph (7) battles to stay on the puck against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period of Game 2. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jun. 30
Updated Jul. 1

TAMPA — With Alex Killorn missing his first game of the postseason, Mathieu Joseph was in the Lightning lineup for Wednesday’s 3-1 win over the Canadiens at Amalie Arena.

Joseph had four hits and one shot on goal while playing 6 minutes, 23 seconds in his first game in more than a month. He last played in Game 3 of the opening-round series against the Panthers on May 20.

“You do your shift, you focus on how you want to play when you’re on the ice, when you leave the ice it’s thinking about the next one,” Joseph said. “You have to have a short memory. I mean, it’s the Stanley Cup final, it’s exciting.

“You always want to perform to help the team to win. Every time you get out there, you try to do your best and I thought that’s definitely what I tried to do tonight and hopefully I can do that next game, too.”

Killorn was injured blocking a shot in the second period of Game 1 on Monday. He was limited to three shifts totaling 1:58 the rest of the period and just one 23-second shift in the third.

Head coach Jon Cooper announced at Wednesday’s morning skate that Killorn would be unavailable for Game 2.

“Alex is a piece of the puzzle,” Cooper said. “He’s a depth-veteran player you can depend on game in and game out.”

The game marked the first time since the opening-round series that the Lightning were missing one of their key forwards (Barclay Goodrow missed the first five games against the Panthers before returning for Game 6.

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Killorn’s absence undoubtedly impacted the Lightning’s game. He plays on the top power-play and the penalty kill in addition to joining right wing Steven Stamkos and center Anthony Cirelli on the second line.

“Killer’s a big part of our team,” forward Tyler Johnson said Wednesday morning. “It’s going to be everyone having to step up in different roles, and that’s the great thing about our team is we have that depth and it’s going to take everybody.”

Fourth-line center Tyler Johnson moved up to the second line to take Killorn’s spot, with Joseph stepping into Johnson’s place on the fourth line alongside Pat Maroon and Ross Colton. Cirelli filled in for Killorn on the top power-play unit, and Yanni Gourde picked up his minutes on the second penalty-kill unit.

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Killorn has averaged 17:32 of ice time per game this postseason, third-highest among Lightning forwards, behind Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov. He has eight goals and nine assists in 19 games this postseason. His 17 points are fourth-most on the team.

Up next:

Who: Lightning at Canadiens, Game 3

When: Friday at 8 p.m.

Where: Montreal, Quebec, at the Bell Centre

Watch: NBC

Contact Mari Faiello at Follow @faiello_mari.

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