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Stralman Injury Delivers Huge Blow to Lightning
Friday, March 25
The team announced the injury following the game.
It occurred during the first period when Stralman was battling with New York's Anders Lee in front of the net. Lee said he felt bad Stralman was hurt, per Arthur Staple of Newsday Sports: "That's the last thing I want to see. We were battling in front, next thing I know he's down. You hate to see that."
Stralman's defense was missed against New York as the team gave up four goals but still won, 7-4. The victory moved the Lightning into a first-place tie in the Eastern Conference with the Florida Panthers at 91 points.
The 29-year-old has been solid for Tampa Bay this season, recording 34 points and a plus-minus of plus-16 in 72 games.
Josh Cooper of Yahoo Sports noted, "Losing Stralman for a prolonged period—especially with less than a month until the Stanley Cup Playoffs—is a big blow for the Lightning, a team with championship aspirations."
Matt Carle could see increased minutes on the ice in Stralman's absence.
The good news for the Lightning is that head coach Jon Cooper said Stralman will be back, per Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times: "His season is not over."
Smith added that while Stralman may not be back in the regular season, he should play in the postseason.