Stamkos won’t play for Lightning in game opener against Bruins

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Steven Stamkos won’t be in the lineup when the Tampa Bay Lightning face the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of Eastern Conference Round 2 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS , NHL.TV).

“He’s not available at the moment,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said on Saturday. “Again, he’s in rehab. When it is available, I will let you know. “Cooper did not say how long the forward could be out.

“There are no further updates,” he said. “I will come back to it when it becomes available but there is no point in continuing to ask for it. ”

Stamkos, who underwent surgery to repair an abdominal muscle injury on March 2 and missed the last five games before the NHL season was suspended on March 12 due to concerns about the coronavirus, suffered an injury lower body before training camp. He did a few drills with the upper power play unit during camp, but didn’t undergo full training until the Lightning arrived in Toronto, the eastern central city, on July 26.

“Every time you have an operation, there will be things that are definitely related to each other,” Stamkos said on July 27. “There was a 4-5 week stretch when I was skating when I was feeling really good. no contact and no game situation during that time so I felt good.

“Then I hit a little rut. Certainly all linked… ”

Stamkos missed all three of the Lightning’s games in the Stanley Cup round robin game and their first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, which they won in five games. He was second in the Lightning with 66 points (29 goals, 37 assists) in 57 games during the regular season, behind the forward Nikita Kucherov, who scored 85 points (33 goals, 52 assists) in 68 games.

Defender Victor Hedman Tampa Bay captain Stamkos said continues to leave a positive mark even though he couldn’t play.

“He’s the captain for a reason and he showed it,” Hedman said. “Even when he’s not playing he brings a positive mindset and a positive attitude to the locker room, and that rubs off on the guys.

“We are lucky to have a captain like that. “



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