Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman was forced out of Saturday’s round-robin game against the Philadelphia Flyers with an apparent lower-body injury, leaving in the first period and not returning.
Hedman appeared to twist his ankle awkwardly while pivoting during the first period, falling to the ice. The former Norris Trophy winner eventually left the bench and went to the locker room, slamming a railing in frustration.
The 29-year-old missed time in March with a lower-body injury, and was also out of the lineup due to injury right before the Lightning’s playoff run last season, which ended in a surprising four-game exit.
Tampa Bay is also currently without captain Steven Stamkos, the centreman having missed all of the club’s round-robin tilts, and fellow defender Jan Rutta.
Through 66 games this season, Hedman posted 55 points — his fifth-straight season above 50 points — while skating a team-leading 24:04 for the Lightning.