NHL News

Lightning hope for Hedman return before playoffs

Tampa Bay Lightning star defenseman Victor Hedman sat out Monday night and is not expected to play the final three games of the regular season.

Hedman tried to deliver a hit to Washington’s Carl Hagelin on Saturday but took the worse of the confrontation when his chin bounced off Hagelin’s helmet.

Hedman, 28, is officially listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Coach Jon Cooper told reporters that he didn’t expect Hedman back before the playoffs.

The Lightning have long since clinched the Presidents’ Trophy for the best regular-season record in the NHL, so they can afford to be cautious with Hedman. But missing the defenseman once the playoffs begin next week would be a big blow for Tampa Bay.

Hedman, the defending Norris Trophy winner as the league’s best defenseman, has 12 goals and 42 assists in 70 games this season.

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