Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper delivers bad news prior to Game 5

Tampa Bay may have to try for their 2nd straight Cup without a key forward.


The Tampa Bay Lightning are one win away from officially repeating as Stanley Cup champions, which would make them the 3rd NHL team to accomplish the feat of winning back to back titles since the Detroit Red Wings did so in 1997 and 1998, followed by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. 

However, if they're to win their first championship at home since the Vincent Lecavalier-Martin St. Louis-Brad Richards led squad of 2004, they may have to do so without one of the key components of their team. 

Forward Alex Killorn, who has been sidelined in the Stanley Cup Final since being felled by a shot from Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry, has been listed as doubtful to play tonight. He's been one of the most versatile players for the Lightning during the postseason, playing both the power play and killing penalties while contributing eight goals and nine assists in 19 games so far. 

Killorn did take the warmups for the Lightning prior to Game 4 in Montreal, but ultimately wasn't able to play. The Canadiens were able to force a Game 5 back at Amalie Arena thanks to a 3-2 overtime victory. 

“I’d say Killorn is probably in the same situation he was the last game,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said during his pregame availability. “Probably doubtful.”

“He’s a great player. He’s got his fingerprints all over this team,” said Blake Coleman. “He’s great 5-on-5 and a good puck possession guy. He’s physical. There’s not many things he doesn’t do for us. We certainly miss him when he’s not in the lineup, but thankfully we have a ‘next man up’ mentality and a lot of depth in this room. But there are certainly areas where his presence is missed.”

In Killorn's stead, Mathieu Joseph has been inserted into the lineup. 

Tonight's Game 5 will officially get underway shortly after 8:00 PM EST, and can be watched on both NBCSN and Sportsnet.