EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Steven Stamkos won’t play for the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Dallas Stars.
But coach Jon Cooper says his injured captain hasn’t been ruled out for the remainder of the series. Stamkos played less than three minutes Wednesday night in his first NHL game since February and scored on his only shot to help Tampa Bay win and take a 2-1 series lead.
Stamkos had core muscle surgery in early March and aggravated the injury over the summer.
On the Dallas side, the injuries are piling up. Center Radek Faksa, defenseman Stephen Johns and goaltender Ben Bishop remain unfit to play and forward Blake Comeau will be a game-time decision.
The Lightning lead the Stars two games to one and a win Friday would give them a chance to take home their second Stanley Cup one night later in Game 5.
The NHL is playing Stanley Cup Final games on back-to-back nights for the first time since 2009.
That year Detroit won each of the first two games against Pittsburgh, which eventually won the series in seven games. That is the only time in the NHL’s modern era for a back-to-back at this point in the playoffs.
You can see tonight’s game on News Channel 8 with pre-game coverage starting at 7:30 p.m.
LATEST ON THE TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
- Goalies get shuffled in NHL free agency; Lightning quickly depleted
- Tampa Bay Lightning re-sign forwards Mitchell Stephens, Gemel Smith
- Steven Stamkos expected to be ready for next season, Lightning GM says
- ‘You guys gave us something to celebrate’: Lightning’s Stamkos, Kucherov, Hedman on Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
- Lightning GM confirms team will look different next season due to flat salary cap