Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning expects Victor Hedman back from injury Monday

WALLACE LURKS: Tim Wallace, right, loses the puck to Cam Ward but also in the first beats Ward for his first NHL goal.

Getty Images

WALLACE LURKS: Tim Wallace, right, loses the puck to Cam Ward but also in the first beats Ward for his first NHL goal.

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Lightning received encouraging news on D Victor Hedman (upper body) on Saturday. He is expected to return to practice Monday and could play in games next week, head athletic trainer Tommy Mulligan said.

On the other hand, veteran D Marc-Andre Bergeron (back) has decided to have surgery, which would likely end his season.

Hedman, 21, has missed the past four games. Mulligan said the defenseman saw several doctors last week, including a specialist Friday in Michigan. Though Mulligan wouldn't reveal the specific injury or symptoms, it was not a concussion, he said.

Considering Hedman sustained a concussion earlier this season, the 6-foot-6 Swede was pleased with the prognosis.

"He's making great progress, and if things keep going the way they're going, we're hopeful he'll be back to play within the next week," Mulligan said. "There's no concerns for anything long term, no issues. He's relieved."

Bergeron has missed 22 of the past 23 games with a bulging disc that is affecting his sciatic nerve. He had surgery in April 2009 while with the Wild to address a similar issue, and GM Steve Yzerman said last week that Bergeron was considering surgery again.

The team confirmed Saturday that Bergeron will have a procedure, details and date to be determined.

"Surgery in sight," Bergeron said on Twitter. "Unfortunate but it's the reality of professional sport."

A NEW LEAF: D Keith Aulie, recently acquired from the Maple Leafs, said he was surprised to see coach Ron Wilson fired Friday, even with Toronto out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"I didn't really think it'd happen during the year," Aulie said. "It's a little bit shocking, but maybe this is what they need, to get a spark, and maybe they can be back on track."

THE DISH: Coach Guy Boucher had been pleased with the size and physical nature of new defensemen Brian Lee (6-3, 205 pounds) and Mike Commodore (6-5, 228).

"We have been a smaller, skill-type defensive team, and it was good to see some size and aggressiveness," Boucher said. "They are really good additions."

Lee showed his offensive skill in Friday's win over the Rangers with two assists, including a nice feed on Steven Stamkos' goal.

"That was an unbelievable play by Brian Lee," Stamkos said.

"He's a great defender, and his offensive skills are very underrated. A lot of good defensemen in this league would have just shot that, but he had it set up the whole way."

CLOSE CALL: The Lightning is the best team in the league in one-goal games, going 21-3-6 this season for a .700 winning percentage.

Boucher said part of the reason is how much his team learned from playing through adversity last season, and the other is its desired defense-first style of play.

"We know when we play tight with numbers and we play a no-turnover game at the other team's blue line, we're hard to beat," Boucher said. "Because you're going to have to go through our four, five guys. That's the only way we've been good this year."

MISCELLANY: Wing Tim Wallace replaced Brandon Segal in the lineup and scored his first NHL goal in the first period.

Joe Smith can be reached at View the Tampa Bay Times Lightning blog at Follow on Twitter at @LightningTimes.

Tampa Bay Lightning expects Victor Hedman back from injury Monday

03/03/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 3, 2012 11:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals in 2009. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also …

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, holds the AFC Championship trophy? as he celebrates with head coach Bill Belichick after the AFC championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots defeated the the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 to advance to the Super Bowl.? (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) FBO247
  2. Sputtering Rays keep falling one run short

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Even going into play against the Angels on Tuesday just a game under .500 at 23-24, the Rays have some issues they have to resolve.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb waits for Mike Trout to finish his trot after homering to give the Angels a 2-0 lead.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener


    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    The University of South Florida Bulls take a moment on the field just prior to their game against Tulane in the American Athletic Conference Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in Clearwater.