Apr 2, 2016 11:28 PM
Lightning beat Devils 3-1, but lose Stamkos to blood clot
The Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Lightning's strong third period in a win over New Jersey was greatly overshadowed by the news that captain Steven Stamkos will miss one to three months because of a blood clot in his arm.
Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman announced the "bad news" after the Lightning beat the Devils 3-1 on Saturday night.
Yzerman said Stamkos has a type of vascular thoracic syndrome near his right collarbone, and is scheduled to have a procedure on Monday.
"After Thursday's game (against Montreal), Stammer went in to see the doctors," Yzerman said. "He had some discomfort in his arm, some swelling, some tingling in his fingers. Yesterday morning, we had it assessed by doctors locally and it's determined he has a blood clot in his arm."
Yzerman said it will be a couple of weeks before it is known if Stamkos' absence will be closer to one month or three. He added, however, that a full recovery is expected.
"We don't anticipate any negative impact upon his return on his playing career," Yzerman said.
Stamkos has 36 goals and 64 points in 77 games, but is likely to miss at least the first round of the playoffs. He is also scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the season, so his future with the Lightning is uncertain.
Tampa Bay is also without top defenseman Anton Stralman, who is out indefinitely with a fractured left fibula.
"Those are two pretty big pieces of the puzzle," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.
Brian Boyle made it 2-1 on Tampa Bay's seventh power play and third of the third period on a backhand rebound with 8:28 to play.
"We had some jump," Boyle said of a third period in which the Lightning outshot New Jersey 17-5. "It was everybody contributing."
Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning, who remained two points behind Atlantic Division-leading Florida. The Panthers beat Montreal 4-3 on Saturday night.
Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop stopped Mike Sislo's breakaway shot in the first and finished with 25 saves.
New Jersey got a goal from Adam Henrique. Cory Schneider, who hadn't played since March 4 due to a right knee injury, was back in the lineup and made 33 saves.
"I thought he came back and played well," Devils coach John Hynes said of Schneider.
Hedman opened the scoring 9:03 into the second from the top of the right circle. It was the Lightning's first goal in 122:25, a stretch that started after Hedman scored in the second period Monday in a 3-0 win over Toronto. Tampa Bay lost 3-0 to Montreal on Thursday.
Henrique tied it at 1 on his 28th goal during a power play with 27.8 seconds remaining in the second. The Devils went 1 for 6 with the man advantage.
Schneider made 11 saves during the first eight minutes of the third while the Devils were held without a shot over the stretch.
Kucherov, who had two assists, added an empty-netter.
New Jersey had a power-play goal by Kyle Palmieri with 1:53 left in the first disallowed when teammate Joseph Blandisi was called for interference.
NOTES: Tampa Bay closes out the regular season with road games against the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, the Devils and Montreal. ... New Jersey RW Jordin Tootoo had surgery Friday on his right wrist to repair a tear in the sheath covering a tendon and will miss the rest of the season. ... Devils D David Schlemko (seven games, upper body) and C Jacob Josefson (12 games, upper body) both returned from injuries. ... Devils C Patrik Elias is with the team, but sat out his 45th straight game with a knee injury.