TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos left in the first period of Saturday night’s 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks because of a left leg injury.
Stamkos was tangled up with Chicago forward Joey Anderson in his own zone with less than three minutes remaining in the opening period. After the two fell to the ice, Stamkos stood up and skated off the ice holding his lower left leg.
Following the win, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper sounded optimistic about the veteran forward’s status moving forward, without giving many details.
“I think he’s going to be OK. We just kept him out for precaution,” Cooper said. “We’ll check him out [on Sunday], but we’re hopeful he’ll be OK.”
The 33-year-old forward and two-time Stanley Cup champion is second on the Lightning with 27 goals and third with 66 points.
Stamkos, the No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft, has played his entire NHL career with the Lightning. He’s the team leader with 508 goals and 1,038 points. He reached the 1,000-point mark on Dec. 1 and scored his 500th goal on Jan. 18. He is 12 games shy of 1,000 for his career, as well.
The Lightning, who have advanced to the past three Cup finals, are comfortably in third place in the Atlantic Division. With the NHL-leading Boston Bruins running away with the division title, Tampa Bay is headed toward a first-round date with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second straight postseason.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Lightning C Stamkos (leg) ‘going to be OK’ after leaving win