BY: John Mamola

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper does not think winger Ryan Malone's DUI and cocaine possession charges will be a distraction to the playoffs-bound Lightning squad.

Cooper said Sunday before the Bolts’ regular season finale against the Washington Capitals that the Lightning are "really looking forward" to getting back Malone "at some point."  Malone did not travel with the team on Sunday.

According to police reports, an officer saw Malone's SUV strike a curb after making a left turn from the center lane early Saturday, Tampa Police Lt. Paul Lusczynski said.

After being pulled over, Malone got out of his vehicle, and the officer smelled alcohol on his breath, Lusczynski said. According to the police report, the officer found 1.3 grams of cocaine in one of Malone's pockets.

The Lightning will host the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the NHL playoffs beginning on Wednesday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.







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