Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Lightning without Gagne, Kubina for Game 2

Categories: Tampa Bay Lightning, WSH vs. TAM, Washington Capitals

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Tampa's Simon Gagne was helped off the ice but said later he never lost consciousness after his head bounced off the ice in Game 1 in Washington. (Nick Wass/Associated Press) Tampa's Simon Gagne was helped off the ice but said later he never lost consciousness after his head bounced off the ice in Game 1 in Washington. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)
By Stephen Whyno

Simon Gagne and Pavel Kubina were both ruled out for Game 2 on Sunday night in Washington by Lightning coach Guy Boucher. Forward Blair Jones and defenceman Randy Jones will step into the lineup to take their places.

Blair Jones gets the call because Dana Tyrell is not available after getting injured in practice during the Penguins series. Boucher said he's hopeful to get either Gagne or Kubina back for Tuesday's Game 3 - and ideally both for at least Game 3 or Game 4 back in Tampa.

Capitals get Carlson back

Washington rookie defenceman John Carlson was injured with about five minutes left in the second period Friday night and skated only a couple shifts after that.

"Just coach's decision," said Carlson, who "probably" could have played in the third period but was held out.

He's expected to be in the Capitals' lineup Sunday night, which is important for Mike Green, who logged 27:05 in Game 2.

"He can log up a lot of minutes and it's a fast-paced game in the playoffs and it's tough to play a lot of minuets, so it's nice to have him back," Green said.

Lightning block party

Tampa Bay's 1-3-1 trap frustrated the Capitals in Game 1, but even when they could get the puck into the zone, life wasn't easy. Dwayne Roloson was solid but didn't have to be spectacular because the Lightning take pride in blocking shots.

"When a team is holding a one-goal lead and they're a dedicated team, they'll do whatever it takes to win," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They get really committed to protecting the lead. So it's a good job by them."

Gagne never lost consciousness

Teammates and on-lookers were extremely concerned about Gagne's health after his hit from Scott Hannan in Game 1 on Friday that resulted in the Lightning left wing's head bouncing off the ice. But on Sunday, Gagne told local reporters that he never lost consciousness and hopes to play in Game 3. Boucher termed him day-to-day.

"He could play tomorrow, but there's no game," the coach said.

Power in the power play?

With Carlson in, the Capitals' power play is substantially more dangerous than it was in the third period Friday night. Boucher said after Game 1 he'd be "shocked" if Washington didn't score on the power play Sunday or very soon, despite his team's 97.5 per cent success rate killing penalties.

Opponents are 1-for-40 now through eight games.

"We feel comfortable being on the penalty kill, but we can't take five penalties again," Lightning defenceman Viktor Hedman said. "Sooner or later they're gonna score one, so we have to stay out of the box."

Pretty drawings

One thing about the visiting locker room at Verizon Center on Sunday was very different from previous days: the dry-erase boards were covered up with towels so reporters couldn't see what was written on them.

"That's because my drawings are not that pretty," Boucher joked. "I don't want anybody to get a hold of that. It's just part of the game plan."

Stephen Whyno covers the Capitals for The Washington Times. Follow him on Twitter at @SWhyno.