Steven Stamkos misses first game in two years
In a surprising development, C Steven Stamkos missed his first game in two years Saturday, sidelined with an upper-body injury.
Stamkos, who has a team-leading 36 goals, didn't practice Friday in Brandon due to body maintenance, and didn't participate in Saturday's optional morning skate. But coach Jon Cooper indicated Friday he wasn't concerned Stamkos or D Victor Hedman (who also missed Friday due to body maintenance) would miss Saturday's game. Hedman played. Stamkos was the only Lightning player to have appeared in the first 77 games. This was the first game he's missed since returning from a broken leg in Mar. 2014.
The Lightning offered minimal update on the severity of Stamkos injury, only saying that he was "out," but it must have been fairly serious to miss such an important game. Tampa Bay had a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a win and a regulation loss by Detroit tonight.