The Boston Bruins haven’t had an ideal start in the NHL’s Toronto bubble, but in their second round-robin game against Tampa Bay, it looks like they’ll at least avoid having to play one Lightning star forward.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper announced Tuesday that Steven Stamkos will miss the team’s second-straight Stanley Cup qualifying tilt on Wednesday against rivaled Boston.
Stamkos joined his teammates on the ice to skate Tuesday, but had not practiced since Friday after sustaining a lower-body injury before the start of training camp during a voluntary workout. He also missed the Lightning’s last seven games of the regular season before the NHL paused its season due to COVID-19 while dealing with a core muscle injury that required surgery.
🎥 Coop’s morning media included notes on Bogo pairing with Heddy, ruled out Stamkos for tomorrow’s game vs. Boston, and talked the goalie schedule for the next two round robin games. pic.twitter.com/u8hWqRzXOP
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) August 4, 2020
Despite these road bumps, Stamkos is his team’s runner up in goals (29) and points (66).
And though Tampa Bay still is a formidable opponent without him, his absence certainly makes things easier on Boston, as if the Bruins lose, they’ll be eliminated from contention for the No. 1 seed that they worked hard to lock up all season.
Puck drop for Bruins-Lightning is set for 4 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports