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Lightning’s Jon Cooper remains optimistic Victor Hedman will play in Sweden

Hedman does not skate Friday morning, but Pat Maroon and Erik Cernak return to the ice.
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) works to move the puck moments before he scores his game winning goal in the final minute of the game to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in the third period at Amalie Arena Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 in Tampa.
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) works to move the puck moments before he scores his game winning goal in the final minute of the game to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in the third period at Amalie Arena Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 in Tampa. [ DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Nov. 1, 2019

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Lightning will get one of their injured players back Friday night.

Erik Cernak missed Wednesday’s overtime win against the Devils with a lower-body injury. He should be good to go for tonight’s game against the Islanders, though coach Jon Cooper called it a game-time decision.

Victor Hedman (lower-body) and Pat Maroon (upper-body) remain on injured reserve for five more days. Maroon fully participated in Friday’s morning skate. Hedman did not skate.

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Cooper remains optimistic, however, that Hedman will be ready to play in Sweden next weekend.

“He’ll be out tonight, but we’re hopeful for the game in Sweden,” he said. “So is everybody in the country of Sweden.”

What’s going on with him now has never, for me, been a threat that he’s not going to play in Sweden."

Luke Witkowski, who was a healthy scratch on Wednesday, will be back in the lineup. Braydon Coburn and Carter Verhaeghe are the likely scratches for Friday.