1. Lightning

Victor Hedman could return Saturday

Published Jan. 21, 2017

The Lightning could get a big boost Saturday against the Coyotes with top defenseman Victor Hedman nearing a return.

Hedman, who has missed the last three games with an illness, was a full participant in practice Friday and said he felt good. Good enough to play Saturday?

"We'll see," Hedman said. "(Friday) was a good day. Too early to tell."

Hedman, the team's second leading scorer, declined to elaborate on what ailed him. It has sidelined him since Monday, when Hedman left warmups in L.A. early.

"It's tough to go through," Hedman said. "Probably the first time I've been sick like this."

Hedman felt he turned the corner the past couple days, getting in a workout on Thursday. And he's been impressed with how the Lightning has played without him, allowing just four regulation goals the past three games.

"The guys have been playing incredible the last three games," Hedman said. "We limited their scoring chances. We haven't scored many goals but still got three out of six points. We're doing good things defensively, keeping them to the outside. It was a big step in the right direction...

"Whenever I get back I've got to make sure I feel ready to play."