Photo: ABC Action News
The Tampa Bay Lightning announced prior to their game against the Calgary Flames on Saturday afternoon that captain Steven Stamkos will undergo core muscle surgery on Monday and miss 6-8 weeks (the remainder of the regular season and most likely Round 1 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs).
#TBLightning captain Steven Stamkos will undergo a surgical procedure on Monday, March 2 to repair a core muscle injury.
Recovery and rehabilitation are anticipated to last approximately six to eight weeks.https://t.co/UzfkHwdJhs
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 29, 2020
This is a devasting blow to a team that has lost four in a row entering Saturday’s game after going 23-2-1 in their previous 26 games to lead the NHL with a .904 points percentage over that span and is nine points behind the Boston Bruins for the Eastern Conference lead with two games in hand.
The 30-year-old posted 29 goals, 66 points, and a +14 rating in 57 games this season.
This is the third major injury that Stamkos has had in the past seven seasons. A lateral meniscus tear in his right knee caused him to miss the final 65 games of the 2016-17 season when the Lightning missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs by just one point. In the 2013-14 season, Stamkos suffered a broken tibia that cost him 44 games out of the lineup.
The Washington Capitals trail the Lightning by one point for third place in the Eastern Conference and they will have a game in hand heading into Sunday.
Center Mitchell Stephens drew in for Stamkos vs. the Flames.
From The Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos will undergo a surgical procedure on Monday, March 2 to repair a core muscle injury, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Michael Brunt at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Recovery and rehabilitation are anticipated to last approximately six to eight weeks.
Stamkos will not be available to media at this time.
By Harrison Brown