NHL

Lightning lose three centers to injury in win over Minnesota Wild

The Tampa Bay Lightning pulled out a big victory against the Wild on Thursday night, but it sure was a costly W.

The Bolts lost three key players to injury during the contest, with all of them looking like they could be significant ailments.

First came Vladislav Namestnikov, who appeared to suffer a knee injury after an awkward collision with Zach Parise in the second period.

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Then it was Tyler Johnson, who went down after colliding knee-on-knee with Minnesota's Nino Niederreiter just a few minutes after Namestnikov's injury.

Finally, to round out the injury hat trick, Cedric Paquette injured his left leg when it twisted awkwardly during a takedown of Niederreiter in the third period.

Three centermen, three lower body injuries that didn't look good at all. After the game, Tampa coach Jon Cooper said it "would be a blessing" if any of the three were able to play in the team's next game, which doesn't sound too promising.

That's obviously a huge concern for a team that, despite a rough start to the season and being sellers at the deadline, is still not that far out of the playoff picture. All they'd need to do to sneak into the postseason is go on a very plausible late season run, but that becomes much more difficult if the lineup is missing a bunch of steady contributors.