Steven Stamkos will not play for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their final game of the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and his status for the Eastern Conference First Round next week is unknown.
The forward has not played in the round-robin because of a lower-body injury he aggravated before training camp.
“He’s not going to be available tomorrow,” coach Jon Cooper said Friday. “Injuries are unpredictable. And if there’s somebody that is working harder than him to try to get back, I have not seen it. He’s rehabbing. Our staff has been working with him on a daily basis. And in situations like this, you never know.”
Cooper said that there wouldn’t be further updates on Stamkos nor his availability for the Stanley Cup Playoffs until he is ready to play.
“When he is ready to come back I will be the first to tell you,” Cooper said. “But there’s no use in speculating anymore. As of right now he’s out indefinitely until he’s not. And I’ll be the person to let you know when that is. You should know that he’s working his tail off, and he’s he’s eager to come back. Clearly we want him to come back. And so when the time is right, we’ll let you know.”
Stamkos, who was second on the Lightning with 29 goals and 66 points in 57 games this season, missed their round-robin victories against the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins. A win against the Flyers will give the Lightning the No. 1 seed in the East when the first round of the playoffs begins next week.