The Tampa Bay Lightning announced forward Ondrej Palat will miss at least the next four weeks with a lower-body injury. Palat hasn’t played since being struck in the foot by a shot against the Golden Knights on October 26. He was seen wearing a walking boot in the days following the injury.
Palat has zero goals and five assists through 9 games this season. He registered 11 goals and 24 assists in just 56 games last season after a lower-body injury forced him to miss 26 games. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said he does not expect Palat to require surgery.
October 26 was an unfortunate night for Tampa Bay; they lost Palat and Victor Hedman to an upper-body injury. Hedman returned to Lightning practice on Wednesday but has been ruled out of Thursday night’s game against the Islanders. His next chance to play is Saturday night against the Senators. The reigning Norris Trophy winner is off to a relatively slow start this season, picking up just two goals and two assists in his first nine games.
The Lightning have done well in the absence of Hedman and Palat, going 4-2-0 with 3.83 goals per game in the six games since their injuries. Defenseman Ryan McDonagh has seamlessly filled in for Hedman on Tampa Bay’s top pair and powerplay unit. The former Ranger has one goal and six assists over the last six games.