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Devils top D Vatanen out today vs. Lightning

Jersey's Sami Vatanen won't be mixing it up today with the Lightning's J.T. Miller. (DIRK SHADD | Times)

TAMPA Devils top defenseman Sami Vatanen will not play today because of an upper body injury suffered during the first period of Game 4, coach John Hynes announced this afternoon.

Mirco Mueller will replace Vatanen in the lineup.

Game 5 begins at 3 p.m. on NBC. The Lightning leads the best-of-seven series 3-1.

RELATED: Why Vatanen is a big loss for Devils

Vatanen was injured when he was checked high by Lightning RW Nikita Kucherov during the first period of Game 4.

As for Lightning RW Ryan Callahan, coach Jon Cooper said after Friday's practice that he will be a game-time decision today. Cooper did not speak to the media before today's game.

The Devils have lost nine of 10 playoff series when it trailed 3-1 in games.

RELATED: Why Game is crucial for the Lightning

The Lightning can wrap up the series today with a victory. If not, Game 6 is Tuesday in Newark, N.J. The winner of this series plays the winner of Boston-Toronto. The Bruins lead that series 3-1 with Game 5 at 8 p.m. in Boston.

Contact Roger Mooney at rmooney@tampabay.com. Follow @rogermooney50

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