The Tampa Bay Lightning's organizational depth will challenged sooner than expected.
The Lightning will be without forward Ryan Malone for at least a week after placing the veteran on injured reserve retroactive to Sunday with an unspecified lower body injury. Malone, who was hurt prior to Sunday's game against the New York Rangers, will miss a minimum of three games.
He is eligible to be activated on Feb. 17.
Also on Monday, the team recalled Richard Panik from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. A second-round draft pick in 2010, Panik is expected to make his NHL debut on Tuesday when Tampa Bay hosts the Montreal Canadiens.
Malone was a late scratch Sunday in New York. The injury is something that had been bothering him and flared up during one of the warm-up games some players participate in before taking the ice for the official pregame warmup, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said.
"He was just warming up before the game, and it tightened up,'' Yzerman said.
Malone will require rest, Yzerman said, with no testing expected at this time, indicating it could be a muscle as opposed to a structural issue.
Panik, 22, is tied for fourth in the AHL with 21 goals this season. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound forward also was a big contributor last season, when Tampa Bay's top farm team won a championship.
Tampa Bay Lightning place Ryan Malone on injured reserve
Tampa Tribune | Feb 12