Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ondrej Palat was forced to leave the game with an Upper-Body Injury after being rocked by a hard hit along the boards.
The Tampa Bay Lightning is no stranger to injuries this season. While things haven’t been as bad on the injury front as they have in seasons past, the Bolts have still struggled with their fair share of injuries.
Coming into tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins, the Lightning was down two defensemen. The first of these two defensemen is Dan Girardi, who is currently considered to be out indefinitely with a Lower-Body Injury. The second is Anton Stralman, who is day-to-day with a Lower-Body Injury.
Regrettably for the Bolts, it seems as if there is yet another name to add to the list. It was announced during the second intermission that Lightning forward Ondrej Palat had sustained an Upper-Body Injury and would not be returning to the game.
It was just before the halfway point in the period. Neither the Lightning nor the Bruins had made their way to the back of the net just yet. Palat had control of the puck and was charging full speed into the offensive zone. This is when Palat ran head-first into what must’ve felt like a brick wall.
Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton met Palat at the blueline and absolutely rocked him with one of the hardest hits we’ve seen in quite some time. The impact of the hit caused Palat to leave his feet and come crashing down on the ice. It was immediately apparent Palat was in a bit of pain after the hit.
Palat would make his way off the ice under his own volition, but it was quite clear he caught the short end of this particular stick. It wasn’t long before Palat would make his way down the tunnel and back to the Lightning locker room. Regrettably, this would be the last time he would be seen on the ice against the Bruins.
It’s unclear at the moment what the severity of the injury to Ondrej Palat is and if it will result in any additional time being missed. The one thing we know for sure is this is not a good look for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they make their way into the postseason.
Given the season the Bolts have had this year, the Lightning is going to want to have all-hands-on-deck once the puck drops to start the playoffs. Every team in the NHL is going to be gunning for the Bolts and will be looking for even the most minor of weaknesses to exploit.
The good news, if you want to call it that, is there are still two weeks left in the regular season. If the injury to Palat is not too severe, two weeks could be plenty of time to recuperate and get back into form before the start of the postseason. Here’s hoping Palat not returning to the ice tonight is more of a precaution than anything.