Steven Stamkos was placed on the NHL COVID-19 protocol list Friday, one day after he did not play for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 5-2 loss at the Florida Panthers because of a lower-body injury.
If the forward remains on the protocol list Saturday, he would be unable to play at Florida (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, SUN, ESPN+, NHL.TV).
“Tomorrow, there will be a list of guys that can play, and we’ll put together a team from that,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Friday prior to the list being revealed. “The big thing for us is whether these guys are in or out, we can’t sit down and kick the can because we’re missing some important players on our team. It’s a team sport, and we’ve got to rally around this. Some guys that haven’t seen as many minutes are going to see them, and we’ll see where we’re at … if in fact these guys can’t go.”
Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli also is uncertain for Saturday after he was injured in the third period Thursday and did not play in the final 8:34.
“Obviously, we hope it’s not long term,” Cooper said of Cirelli’s injury. “It’s tough times … it seems like guys are going down right now. But like I said, I don’t want to speculate on anything yet. So we’ll have to wait and see until tomorrow.”
The Lightning used 11 forwards and seven defensemen Thursday at BB&T Center. The loss ended a six-game winning streak.
Stamkos leads the Lightning with seven goals, and his 14 points are second to linemate Brayden Point (16 points; six goals, 10 assists) in 11 games.
The Tampa Bay captain did not play the final 5:26 of a 6-1 win at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.
NHL.com independent correspondent Corey Long contributed to this report