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Lightning sends defenseman Koekkoek back to AHL Syracuse

Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) and Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk (3) battle for a loose puck during the second period Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Tampa. Looking on is Sabres' Matt Moulson (26). (Associated Press)

Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) and Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk (3) battle for a loose puck during the second period Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Tampa. Looking on is Sabres' Matt Moulson (26). (Associated Press)

TAMPA — The Lightning reassigned defenseman Slater Koekkoek to AHL Syracuse on Sunday, which could be a good sign that Victor Hedman might be available soon.

Koekkoek was called up Friday with Hedman hurt and defenseman Nikita Nesterov suspended two games for his boarding penalty in Thursday's game against the Stars. Koekkoek played well in Saturday's win against the Sabres. He was minus-1 in 10:21 of ice time.

Hedman has been out since getting his head slammed into the boards Thursday on a hit by Dallas' Jamie Benn. He has been considered day to day, but with Koekkoek reassigned and Nesterov out one more game, Hedman would be one of six defensemen on the roster heading into Tuesday's game in Nashville.

The Lightning was off Sunday and returns to practice today, when there should be more clarity on Hedman's status.

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Lightning sends defenseman Koekkoek back to AHL Syracuse 10/18/15 [Last modified: Sunday, October 18, 2015 10:00pm]
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