TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Lightning forward Alex Killorn will miss game two of the Stanley Cup Final with a lower body injury, leaving the Lightning without one of their most reliable forwards.
Killorn suffered the injury late in the second period of game one, taking a puck off his lower leg when he blocked a shot. It was a pivotal moment to preserve their 2-0 lead when defenseman Victor Hedman lost his stick behind their net. Killorn gave Hedman his stick and seconds later, laid out to block the Canadiens’ shot with his body.
Now the Lightning will have to bring-in someone to fill his role for at least this second game.
Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper said Wednesday morning that Killorn was day-to-day but did not indicate if he planned on adding another defenseman to the line-up or another forward. Either way, it’s a significant loss for the Bolts, playing without someone who contributes in so many facets of the game for them.
“He brings immense value,” Cooper said about Killorn’s importance to this team. “I can have this conversation about all 20 guys in different ways. Alex is a piece of the puzzle. He plays multiple special teams. He kills penalties for us and he’s on the top power play unit. He can check for us. He chips-in on the goal scoring side for us. He’s a depth, veteran player you can depend on game in and game out. He’s the guy that the questions don’t get asked about him after the game whether he has three assists or he make 40 saves or he did whatever. But you look on the score sheet and he gobbled-up 18 minutes and he’s got some blocked shots. He’s got some hits. He’s got this. He’s got that. And when you win a hockey game he’s contributed in a way that doesn’t always get his picture in the paper.”
Killorn’s teammates echoed those sentiments, emphasizing the all-around contributions Killorn makes on the regular.
“Killer’s a big part of our team,” said Lightning forward Tyler Johnson. “He eats-up a lot of minutes and kind of plays in every situation. It’s going to be everyone having to step-up in different roles. That’s the great thing about our team is we have that depth and it’s going to take everybody.”
Killorn is 4th on the team this postseason with 17 points– 8 goals and 9 assists– and has played in all 19 playoff games to this point.
“He had a great year,” said Lightning forward Ondrej Palat. “He’s playing a lot of minutes. He’s playing (penalty kill) and (power play) so he’s a huge part of our team. Like (Johnson) said, everybody is going to have to step-up and fill his role.”
“(He’s) a key part to our team but it’s the playoffs,” Cooper added. “Guys are in and out. You lose guys all the time. It’s part of it and tonight we’re going to have to play without him.”
While the Lightning have lost a forward for game two, the Canadiens are getting one back. Joel Armia is returning to the ice for Montreal after being on the COVID-19 protocol list.