TAMPA — Lightning forward Alex Killorn missed his first pair of games since late 2020 in Games 2-3 of the Stanley Cup final against the Montreal Canadiens.
With Killorn out a second straight game Friday, the team used the same lineup as in Game 2, with Mathieu Joseph drawing in. Wednesday’s game was Joseph’s first action since May 20 against the Florida Panthers in the first round of the playoffs.
“You never know when your name’s going to be called, you just have to be ready when it is,” Lightning coach Cooper said.
Cooper compared Joseph returning to the lineup so late in the season to what rookie Alex Volkov experienced last year, spending 64 days in the bubble without seeing the ice until Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final against the Dallas Stars. Cooper said Volkov “had a great impact on it.”
Joseph picked up his first career postseason point, assisting on Tyler Johnson’s second-period goal. His ice time increased from 6:23 in Game 2 to 9:48 on Friday.
“He’s using his speed, and he can really push defenses back,” Cooper said before the game. “He played the entire season with us, and he had a positive impact on the game (Wednesday), and I expect him to be a little bit more today.”
Killorn was injured blocking a shot from Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry in the second period of Game 1 on Monday.
Killorn missed back-to-back games due to an injury for the first time since Nov. 30, 2019 against Carolina and Dec. 3, 2019 against Nashville. He had a lower-body injury at the time.
Killorn made the trip to Montreal on Thursday, a sign that he could see action in Game 4 on Monday.
Killorn has averaged 17:32 of ice time this postseason, third-highest among Lightning forwards, behind Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov. He has eight goals and nine assists in 19 games, and his 17 points are fourth-most on the team.
Who: Lightning at Canadiens, Game 4
When: Monday at 8 p.m.
Where: Montreal, Quebec, at the Bell Centre
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