SUNRISE — Lightning captain Steven Stamkos did not dress for Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers, missing the contest with what the team called a lower-body injury.
The Lightning said Stamkos is considered day-to-day.
Tyler Johnson filled Stamkos’ spot on the Lightning’s first forward line, joining Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat. Mathieu Joseph, who has played on three different lines this season and has performed well centering the team’s fourth line, moved up to the second line alongside Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn.
Coming off offseason sports hernia surgery, his second such procedure over the past year, Stamkos has been remarkable so far this season. He leads the Lightning with seven goals and 14 points through the team’s first 11 games. He is coming off a two-goal, one-assist performance in Tampa Bay’s 6-1 win over Nashville on Tuesday. Stamkos has five goals over the past six games.
There was no sign of Stamkos sustaining an injury on Tuesday, though the Lightning’s back-to-back games against the Predators in Nashville were physical with a lot of hitting.
Stamkos had his first core muscle surgery of 2020 on March 2, six days after what ended up being his last regular-season game.
He then suffered a setback as he prepared to return for the postseason in August. And while it was one of the most memorable moments in Lightning history, his 2:47 of ice time in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final ended with a torn muscle in his groin, ending his season and sending him to offseason surgery Oct. 7.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at email@example.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.
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