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Jason Garrison, Cedric Paquette sidelined during Detroit game

by Bryan Burns / Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison and forward Cedric Paquette were injured during the Bolts afternoon matchup in Detroit.

Garrison suffered an upper-body injury early and didn’t return to the game.

The 30-year-old blue liner was driven from behind into the boards by Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader 3:43 into the opening period. Garrison stayed down on the ice for a while before rising to his skates and slowly heading to the Lightning locker room.

Abdelkader was given a two-minute minor penalty for boarding.

“We’ll have to make a decision here soon (on Garrison),” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said following the 4-0 defeat in Detroit. “I don’t know if Gary’s coming back to Montreal with us. Obviously if he’s not, he’s heading back to Tampa.”

Late in the game with Tampa Bay trailing 3-0, Cedric Paquette was racing toward the Lightning net to prevent Abdelkader from scoring an empty-net goal and crashed hard into the post with his left leg. Paquette threw off his gloves and immediately reached for the back of his upper leg.

He was helped off the ice by Steven Stamkos and Anton Stralman.

Paquette returned to the Lightning lineup on Thursday after missing six-straight games with an upper-body injury suffered March 10 in Montreal.

His status and the extent of the injury are uncertain.

“To watch him go down a couple weeks ago like he did, blocking a shot and now he’s, that’s a 3-0 game with less than a minute left and he fought to the very end to make sure that puck didn’t go in,” Cooper said. “He’s the one who got his stick on it so it went wide. The kid, there’s no quit in that kid. You can’t surround yourself with enough of those guys, and hopefully he’s going to be OK.”

Garrison has played in 69 games during his first season with Tampa Bay and has scored four goals with 26 assists. Paquette has enjoyed a standout rookie year with 12 goals and seven assists in 58 games for Tampa Bay.

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