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Lightning’s Steven Stamkos misses Ottawa game with lower-body injury

Stamkos played through discomfort Saturday in Detroit but didn’t participate in the second half of back-to-back road games.
 
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos played in Saturday's game at Detroit but was visibly in discomfort for the latter part of that game.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos played in Saturday's game at Detroit but was visibly in discomfort for the latter part of that game. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Oct. 16, 2023|Updated Oct. 16, 2023

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos missed Sunday’s road loss to Ottawa with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day, the team announced.

Stamkos, who has been extremely durable over the past two seasons, was visibly hindered in the second half of Saturday’s 6-4 loss at Detroit. He scored two goals early in the game, and had another negated, but went down the tunnel toward the locker room, hunched over, following a 35-second shift with 7:20 left in the second period Saturday.

When he returned, he spent several minutes looking to skate off the discomfort during breaks in action, flexing both legs as if trying to get something loose.

He played seven third-period shifts and finished the game without incident, logging 18:11 of total ice time.

The Lightning played a lineup with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, and went through stretches in the game when they were down to 10 after Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli each down the tunnel at separate times.

Stamkos has played 81 of 82 regular-season games in each of the past two seasons; in 2021-22, the only game he missed was to return home for the birth of his second son, Chase.

The Lightning dropped Sunday’s game to Ottawa 5-2 and have allowed 11 goals over the first two games of their four-day road trip, which ends Tuesday in Buffalo.

Stamkos entered this season feeling like he took advantage of a longer offseason; it was the first time in four seasons that the Lightning didn’t play in the final game of the NHL season following a first-round playoff exit. He said being healthy helped him train more and better prepare for this season.

“I worked really hard to get into the best shape I could,” Stamkos said earlier this month. “I really felt proud of what I was able to do in the summer.”

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