Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Victor Hedman could return to Lightning on Saturday

NEWARK — Top D Victor Hedman (upper body) was back on the ice for Thursday's morning skate, with a chance he could return for Saturday's regular-season finale.

"Very encouraging," coach Jon Cooper said.

But W Ryan Callahan (lower body) didn't skate. The Lightning hopes he'll be available by Wednesday's Game 1 of the playoffs.

Hedman missed his second straight game, having received a hit to the head in Monday's loss to the Islanders from D Thomas Hickey, who got a two-minute roughing penalty.

"It's hockey, and I'm sure the league is going to look at every hit," Hedman said. "For me, no grudges from my side."

Callahan, who has missed two games, appears doubtful for Saturday against the Canadiens. "Look at Game 1 as probably, hopefully when we're going to see Cally again," Cooper said.

UP AND DOWN: Along with the callup of RW Jonathan Drouin from AHL Syracuse, there was a swap of defensemen, Matt Taormina coming up and Slater Koekkoek being sent down.

Taormina was put on the power play Thursday against the Devils, having experience on it with the Crunch.

"It was definitely a surprise to get the call, especially with clinching a (playoff spot) and (Koekkoek) up here," Taormina said. "But it's a nice opportunity to get in a game."

GM Steve Yzerman was pleased with how Koekkoek played in his callup. But Yzerman also wanted to see Taormina before the playoffs, and with Drouin coming, he needed to send someone down. Cooper said that won't be the last time Koekkoek is with the Lightning this season.

NUTS AND BOLTS: RW Jonathan Marchessault was scratched. … D Dominik Masin, D Matthew Spencer and RW Jonne Tammela joined the Crunch on amateur tryout contracts.

Contact Joe Smith at [email protected]. Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

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