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Head Coach Jon Cooper in COVID-19 Protocol

The Lightning are getting set to play the Golden Knights tonight.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers
SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 9: Head coach Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning looks on during the third period against the Florida Panthers during a preseason game at the FLA Live Arena on October 9, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida.
Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper, 54, is under NHL COVID protocol hours before the team is set to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the last game before the Christmas Break. The Lightning are now one of 26 teams in the 32-team league that has members in the NHL’s protocol.

Assistant coach Derek Lalonde will run the forwards, with fellow assistants Jeff Halpern and Rob Zettler and goalie coach Frantz Jean on the bench.

The Golden Knights are not without COVID either, with two players (Evgenii Dadonov and Alex Pietrangelo) having tested positive earlier today.

Tampa Bay vs Vegas is the only game on the NHL’s schedule — and the last on the schedule before the break — with the nine others all postponed.

We don’t know how long exactly Cooper will have to isolate for — players need to test negative twice before they’re allowed back — so we’ll keep an eye on when he’ll be able to return to the bench.