The Lightning are up 1-0 in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final but they’re also without a key cog for Game 2 against the Canadiens.
Forward Alex Killorn is listed as “day to day” after blocking a Jeff Petry shot in the second period of Game 1. Playing without a stick after handing his to defenseman Victor Hedman, Killorn laid his body on the line to prevent the shot from getting through. He was shown on the bench in some pain and played four more shifts — including one in the third period — before missing the rest of the game.
Killorn normally skates on the Bolts’ second line with captain Steven Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli and is part of the Lightning’s top power-play unit. He is also a key penalty killer.
“Alex is a piece of the puzzle,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “He plays multiple special teams, he kills penalties for us, he’s on the top power-play unit, he can check for us, he chips in on the goal-scoring side of things. He’s a depth, veteran player you can depend on game in and game out. He’s the guy that . . . you look on the scoresheet and he’s gobbled up 18 minutes, and he’s got some blocked shots, he’s got some hits, he’s got this, he’s got that. When you win a hockey game, he’s contributed in a way that doesn’t always get his picture in the paper.”
Tied for second on the team with eight goals in the playoffs, he has 17 points in 19 postseason games. Eight of those points are on the power play and one is a short-handed assist. During the regular season, he chipped in 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 56 games.
“Killer is a big part of our team,” said Tyler Johnson. “He eats up a lot of minutes and 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, we have that depth. It’s going to take everybody.”
Johnson took Killorn’s spot on the second line. He has three points in 19 playoff games.
Mathieu Joseph, who hasn’t played since the first round vs. the Panthers, slotted into the roster on the fourth line. He played two games against Florida and played four games during the Lightning’s 2020 Stanley Cup run. In 56 regular-season games this year, he tallied 12 goals and seven assists.
For what it’s worth, Mathieu Joseph watching clips with Pat Maroon and Ross Colton here at skate with assistant Derek Lalonde. Could see Joseph drawing in on fourth line and Tyler Johnson moving up to Cirelli line for Killorn. It would keep Point + Gourde line intact #tblightning pic.twitter.com/H7BgENl0qi
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) June 30, 2021