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Center Tyler Johnson injured as Tampa Bay loses final game to Montreal

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Repeat it to yourself: It just didn’t matter.

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost Saturday night to Montreal, 5-2, for the third time in its last four games, and it’s fifth time in its last eight, to conclude its regular season. Tampa Bay now proceeds to play Detroit in the playoffs.

The Lightning absorbed more than defeat, however. Center Tyler Johnson was driven into the boards by Greg Pateryn, which left Jon Cooper livid.

“There’s honor and there’s respect, and that kid didn’t show either of them,” Cooper said. “It was egregious. I’m at a loss for what happened. Hopefully, he’ll be okay. That could be career-ending. Of course there is concern. If it had been a playoff game, he wouldn’t have come back.”

Johnson, one of the stars of the Lightning’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals a year ago, joins Steven Stamkos (blood clot) and Anton Stralman (fractured fibula) on the injured list for Tampa Bay.

The Bolts fell behind 4-0 in two periods. They came back a bit with two third-period goals by Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin.

The Bolts open the Detroit series either Wednesday or Thursday.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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