TAMPA — Twenty-two players made their way onto the ice for practice Saturday morning before an afternoon flight to Columbus.
But Victor Hedman wasn’t one of them.
“He got a little banged up last night,” coach Jon Cooper said. “We’re hopeful he’ll be ready for (Sunday).”
Anton Strålman was also missing from practice. Cooper said he’s not expected to return for Game 3.
After getting beat up on all night Friday against the Blue Jackets, Hedman reached a breaking point with teammate Nikita Kucherov.
Both received penalties with 4:26 to go in the third period after a scrum that followed Kucherov boarding Columbus’ Markus Nutivaara. The Department of Player Safety announced Kucherov will be suspended for Game 3 because of the hit.
Josh Anderson (two hits) and Riley Nash (one) keyed in on Hedman throughout the game. Following Kucherov’s boarding call, Anderson was called for roughing against Hedman and misconduct.
The Lightning is already at a two-game deficit entering Game 3 against the Blue Jackets, but now the team may have to find a way to win without its star defenseman, already knowing it’s without a star forward.
Contact Mari Faiello at email@example.com. Follow @faiello_mari.