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Friday, Oct 19, 2018
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Lightning’s Callahan out indefinitely after emergency appendectomy

— The Lightning will be without RW Ryan Callahan for Tuesday’s Game 6 against Montreal after the veteran forward underwent an emergency appendectomy late Monday, the team confirmed.

Callahan will miss Tuesday’s game six of the series against Montreal, but beyond that his return to the ice is undetermined. The procedure was performed at Tampa General Hospital.

Callahan missed Monday’s practice and, at the time, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper expected him to be available for Tuesday.

But after reporting discomfort late in the day, Callahan was sent to Tampa General for testing and was immediately admitted after it was determined he had acute appendicitis and surgery was required to remove the appendix. He was out of the operating room at about 10 p.m. Monday.

In 12 games during the playoffs, Callahan had no goals and three assists and was plus-7, though he had the primary assist on Braydon Coburn’s game-winning goal in Game 7 against Detroit in the first round.

His absence from Monday’s practice was unrelated to the appendectomy, according to a team spokesman.

Callahan played just 13 minutes in Saturday’s Game 5 loss at Montreal.

Former Minnesota Wild D Nick Schultz missed five games during the 2008 playoffs after undergoing a similar procedure.

With Callahan out, rookie LW Jonathan Drouin — who appeared in Games 3 and 4 — is expected to get a regular chance in the lineup.

Captain Steven Stamkos and C Brian Boyle also missed Monday’s practice for what the team called “rest days,’’ though Cooper said both were available to play Tuesday.

Quantity and quality

Usually when it comes to shots on goal, it’s about quality, not quantity.

But Cooper is hoping to up the quantity, which should result in better quality.

Tampa Bay was the league’s highest-scoring team during the regular season and ranked fifth with a shot-attempt advantage of plus-412, a tracking of shots generated using shots on goal, shot attempts blocked and missed shots.

In the first five games of the series against Montreal, however, Tampa Bay has been outshot in all five games by a 173-121 margin and is minus-78 in shot attempts.

To generate more scoring chances, Cooper has a simple instruction to his team for ‘’s Game 6.

“We don’t have enough quantity and we need to get more,’’ Cooper said. “We can’t sit here and rely on six to eight chances a game in which only three are Grade A’s. We are a much better team than that. We have proven that before, so we need to start getting that number up to 14 or 15 or 16 in a game where more of them are big-time chances.’’

Tampa Bay has yet to generate more than 25 shots on goal during regulation play in a game this series after having no fewer than 34 shots against Montreal in each of the five regular-season games.

“It’s all about creating opportunities,’’ LW Alex Killorn said.

In who’s head?

After losing two straight games to Montreal and G Carey Price, the LIghtning insist the league’s MVP candidate is not in their heads. After all, they beat him eight straight times this season before losing the past two.

“It’s not much of a secret that Carey Price is arguably the best goalie in the world,’’ Cooper said. “He is the X factor for them and they have a lot of confidence in him.

“But for us, we’ve had a lot of success against Carey Price. To us, he is not a mental block because we have played them so many times in the past couple of years and his numbers against the Tampa Bay Lightning are very pedestrian compared to the rest of the (league).”

Erik Erlendsson

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