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Lightning forward Ondrej Palat out for tonight’s game vs. Canucks

The team’s second-leading goal scorer, who has a lower-body injury, likely won’t return until Tuesday at the earliest.
Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat, left, celebrates with teammates after his goal during the first period Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres in New York.
Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat, left, celebrates with teammates after his goal during the first period Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres in New York. [ JOSHUA BESSEX | Associated Press ]
Published Jan. 13

TAMPA — The Lightning will be without red-hot forward Ondrej Palat for tonight’s home game against Vancouver and likely Saturday against Dallas, coach Jon Cooper said following morning skate.

After Palat exited the Lightning’s 6-1 win over Buffalo on Tuesday midway through the second period and didn’t return, Cooper said Palat’s removal was more of a precaution because Tampa Bay was well ahead.

He added that Palat, who is the team’s second-leading scorer with 15 goals, has been dealing with a physical issue. The team said today that it is a lower-body injury. Cooper said he hopes Palat can return when the Lightning open their West Coast road trip next Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings.

Related: Lightning's Ondrej Palat should be remembered as "one of the top players that ever was a Bolt"

Palat has been one of the Lightning’s hottest players. He has five goals and an assist in his last four games and has points in eight of his last nine. Palat leads the team with five game-winning goals and his 15 goals trail only Steven Stamkos’ 17.

The Lightning will also be without stalwart defenseman Ryan McDonagh for the third straight game; McDonagh took a blocked shot to his right leg in the Lightning’s win over Calgary last Thursday. Cooper said McDonagh, who participated inmorning skate, is still considered day-to-day.

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