There's no doubt D Victor Hedman's indefinite absence due to a concussion leaves a big void on the Lightning blue line. But that doesn't mean it is insurmountable. The other defensemen have stepped up to pick up the slack in the past two games, both wins.

"It's a huge (loss), and I think players are answering with their actions," coach Guy Boucher said. "Certainly we don't want 'Heddy' to feel that he's let down the team. It's something other teams … fight through. We've been known to have a lot of character and fight through adversity. That's what we've done since the beginning of the year."

With Hedman out and Mattias Ohlund (knees) yet to play this season, it means expanded roles for several defensemen. Pavel Kubina has joined Eric Brewer in the top pairing, and he logged a season high in minutes Tuesday against the Flyers, 27:44.

"His game has been getting better and better, I'd say, the past three weeks," Boucher said.

Bruno Gervais, who has played in 16 of the Lightning's 37 games, will get more regular duty, as will Marc-Andre Bergeron, combining with Brett Clark and Matt Gilroy.