The Tampa Bay Lightning continue their playoff battle against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but they will have to play Game 4 without one of their best defensemen, Erik Cernak. Lightning coach Jon Cooper announced that Cernak would not be participating in the upcoming game, but he has not been ruled out for the series. Erik Cernak Injury update
Cernak has been sidelined since Game 1 when he was hit by a blindside elbow to the head from Michael Bunting, an incident that led to Bunting’s three-game suspension, you can read more about it here. The Lightning currently trail the Maple Leafs 2-1 in the series and will have to face the challenge of playing without Cernak’s expertise on the ice.
At just 25 years old, Cernak already boasts an impressive resume, including two Stanley Cup victories with the Lightning and 74 playoff appearances in his five-year NHL career. His absence has been felt as the Lightning have lost both Game 2 and Game 3 where he did not play.
The Lightning will need to rely on their depth and the experience of their remaining defensemen to compensate for the loss of Cernak. With the pressure on, the Tampa Bay Lightning will need to dig deep and find a way to overcome the challenge of playing without one of their key players, and try to get this series level. Erik Cernak Injury update