The Tampa Bay Lightning will play Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final without forward Alex Killorn. The 30-year-old was removed from Wednesday night’s game after his hit on Brock Nelson of the New York Islanders. Killorn received a 5-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct. The Department of Player Safety made the announcement Thursday afternoon.
Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn has been suspended for one playoff game for Boarding NY Islanders’ Brock Nelson. https://t.co/wQptWd2mqd
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) September 10, 2020
Alex Killorn Suspended
During the first period of Game 2 between the Islanders and Lightning, Killorn delivered a hit on Nelson knocking him out of the game. Nelson was engaged with another Lightning player before Killorn came in and hit him from behind. Killorn has been a big part of Tampa’s success in 2019-20. He scored 26 goals and 49 points in 68 games. Both of those figures set new career-highs for the veteran. That is largely due to a league-leading 20.0 percent shooting percentage. No player who shot better played in over 30 games this season. Killorn also contributed 59 hits while averaging the fifth-most ice time on the team’s power-play. This was a career year in so many ways for the Lightning skater.
Tampa Bay originally drafted Killorn in the third round of the 2007 Draft. He debuted in 2012-13 but didn’t play more than half of the season. His first full year was 2013-14 when he scored 17 goals and 41 points in 82 games. Overall, Killorn has 131 goals and 310 points in 585 career regular-season games. He is fourteenth in scoring among players from the draft. The only player with more points and selected later was Jamie Benn.
What This Means for the Future
The Lightning are stacked offensively but they will need someone to fill Killorn’s spot on the second line. Barclay Goodrow or Blake Coleman would be fine substitutes given their experience. The team dressed seven defenders for game two and they could do that again but they will still need an eleventh forward. Carter Verhaeghe is the strongest option on Tampa’s bubble roster. He scored nine goals and 13 points in 52 games in 2019-20. The Lightning would prefer to have Killorn back but they will need to survive a tough Islanders squad without him for at least one game.
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