Stamkos has been ‘unfit to play’ throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs – except for his brief appearance in Game 3, in which he played under three minutes and scored a goal on his first shot. .
“We have to get another win, and Stammer knows he’s been a big part of getting us off the ice, and what he’s done by playing,” said Cooper. “But for tonight, he won’t be here.
Stamkos, who underwent abdominal muscle surgery on March 2, suffered several setbacks that kept him out of the roster. He said he ran into “a problem” during the opening period of Game 3 which kept him on the bench for the remainder of the game.
“There’s been a lot of stuff behind the scenes that I’ll be happy to share with you guys after the season,” Stamkos said after the game. “We’re focused on winning right now, and tonight was a step in the right direction. “