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Lightning Round: Rudolf Balcers is potentially out for the road trip

The Bolts are heading on the road without their newest forward.

St Louis Blues v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

According to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s head coach Jon Cooper, Rudolf Balcers is doubtful for the upcoming road trip, which starts this Monday in Buffalo. The Latvian forward suffered an upper-body injury after being hit into the boards in the first period of a game against the St Louis Blues, where he played just 23 seconds.

Balcers was claimed off waivers by the Lightning on November 12 after starting the season with the Florida Panthers. In three games with the Bolts, he scored one goal during the game against the Boston Bruins last Monday.

Balcers’ absence also potentially means that Alex Barré-Boulet will stay with the team for a while. Barré-Boulet made his seasonal debut against the Blues Friday, playing mostly on the third line with Vlad Namestnikov and Corey Perry. In 10 minutes of game he didn’t score any points, recording just one shot on net. The Lightning’s situations up front remains complicated as we still didn’t receive any updates on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who missed the last game due to a personal leave of absence, and Cole Koepke was placed on injured reserve on Friday. Anthony Cirelli is nearing his return, but still seems at least a week away.

The Lightning start their three-game road trip on Monday with a game against the Buffalo Sabres. After this game the Bolts will play against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday and against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

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