COLUMBUS, Ohio — The injury bug continues to take its toll on the Tampa Bay Lightning roster.
D Eric Brewer is the latest to join the list after he was scratched Tuesday with an unspecified lower-body injury.
Brewer took part in the morning skate and took regular rushes with normal defensive partner D Mark Barberio. Brewer, however, was not on the ice for pregame warm-ups after the team said he “tweaked” something during the morning skate and was unable to play. D Keith Aulie took Brewer’s spot in the lineup.
“He tweaked something, so we’ll see,” coach Jon Cooper said. When asked if there is concern the injury will keep him out more than one game, Copper responded, “Yes, there’s lots of concern.’’
Brewer will be evaluated before Thursday’s game against Ottawa. Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman said the team will have to make a call-up from Syracuse if Brewer is unable to play.
The Lightning are already missing D Radko Gudas (upper body), LW Ryan Malone (fractured ankle), C Steven Stamkos (broken leg), C Tom Pyatt (broken collarbone) and LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie (arm).
Malone, who took a puck off his foot on Nov. 22 in Anaheim, joined the list of those who are expected to miss significant time after Yzerman revealed Malone has a non-displaced fracture in the ankle and is expected to miss three to four weeks.
Gudas, who was also injured in Anaheim during a first-period fight, remains out, but Cooper said the hope is Gudas could be ready to return Saturday against Winnipeg. Gudas traveled with the team but did not skate.
Labrie, who has missed three games with an arm injury sustained during a fight on Nov. 25, traveled with the team and took part in the morning skate Tuesday while wearing a red non-contact jersey. Labrie was taking shots and has shown steady improvement and is targeting the end of the week as a possibility to return, though he has yet to take part in any battle situations.
“The last three days have been awesome,” Labrie said. “Christian (Rivas, massage therapist) has been working with needles and electricity, and stuff has been progressing. I feel like Iron Man now.’’
Dynamic Drouin: Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft last summer, was named the player of the month in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for November. Drouin, among the final cuts at Tampa Bay training camp, registered 12 goals and 19 assists in 10 games for Halifax while registering at least three points in seven games. The 31 points in the month tied a Halifax team record.
Drouin also was named Monday to the 25-man preliminary roster for Team Canada’s World Junior camp, which will open next week in Toronto. The U-20 championship will begin Christmas Day in Sweden.
In addition to Drouin being named to the World Junior initial roster, 2012 first-round pick G Andrey Vasilevskiy was named to the preliminary roster for Russia on Tuesday. This would be the third World Junior championship for Vasilevskiy, who is in the final year of his contract with Ufa in the Russian Kontinental Hockey League.
The U.S. is expected to announce its roster Wednesday, with 2013 second-round pick Adam Erne expected to be named to that list.
Nuts and Bolts: Columbus C Brandon Dubinsky returned to the lineup after missing six games with a foot injury. ... RW J.T. Brown and LW Nikita Kucherov, which made up two-thirds of the top line in Syracuse to start the season, were reunited on the third line with C Alex Killorn. ... Columbus had failed to reach double digits in shots in 23 of 24 periods before firing 13 in the second period on Tuesday.