Tampa Bay Lightning F Ryan Callahan a game-time decision for Game 5

(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Lightning alternate captain Ryan Callahan is considered to be a game-time decision for Game 5 against the New Jersey Devils.

The Tampa Bay Lightning suffered a bit of a setback in Game Three when they were unceremoniously handed a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the New Jersey Devils. Thankfully, the Lightning seemed to have put their setback in the past as they came back to defeat the Devils 3-1 in Game Three.

Now, with the Devils pushed to the brink of elimination, the series head back to Amalie Arena on Saturday where the Lightning will lay everything out on the line in the hopes of advancing to the next round. The Bolts will definitely need to bring their ‘A’ game if they hope to close out the series against the Devils.

Fortunately, the Lightning may very well have an ace in the hole. According to Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper, alternate captain Ryan Callahan is a game-time decision for Game Five. Callahan has been relegated to the sidelines since sustaining an Upper-Body Injury in Game Two of the series.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

Cally is one of the hardest workers on the ice and his veteran experience is near invaluable to this young Lightning team. Despite dealing with more than his fair share of injuries, Callahan brought home five goals and 13 assists for a total of 18 points during the regular season.

Ryan Callahan may not be the Lightning’s most prolific goal-scorer, but he provides a service the Lightning is in dire need of at this point in the series. Callahan is a player who is well-versed in delivering the hard hits and knocking his opponents off the puck. During the regular season, Callahan led Lightning forwards in hits with 138, which gives Cally an average of 2.1 hits per game.

The opening round series against the Devils has turned out to be surprisingly physical. Even fan favorites like former Lightning forward Brian Boyle have seemed to fall out of favor with quite a few Lightning fans. The Bolts could really use a big body capable of hard hits and someone who is not afraid to stick up for his teammates. Ryan Callahan fits this description to the letter.

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According to Cooper, Callahan is set to be re-evaluated today so everyone should have a better idea of the situation tomorrow morning with the final decision being made around game time. Game Five could be a turning point for the Lightning and having Ryan Callahan back in the lineup could definitely give the Bolts the extra boost they need to get the job done.