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Injuries mounting for Southeast-leading Lightning

NHL.com @NHL
The Tampa Bay Lightning could be without forward Ryan Malone for up to two months, coach Guy Boucher told reporters Thursday.

Malone left the team's 7-4 loss to Buffalo on Tuesday with an abdominal muscle injury. He is currently listed as day-to-day while the team awaits further medical evaluation, but Boucher said the muscle could be torn and Malone could be lost for up to two months.

There are other Lightning players who could be missing for a while, as well. Defenseman Mike Lundin is out indefinitely with an abdominal injury and forward Nate Thompson has not returned to practice since hitting his head against the boards Sunday against St. Louis.

Malone has 11 goals and is tied for third on the team with 34 points. Thompson has 7 goals and 17 points, and has been a favorite of Boucher because of his work ethic. Lundin has 9 points in 53 games and has been a key member of the team's defense along with partner Mattias Ohlund.

The Lightning are trying to hold off the Washington Capitals and capture their first Southeast Division title since the Stanley Cup-winning season in 2003-04. They have a three-point lead on Washington and trail Philadelphia by four points for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
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