Updates from Monday, April 21
Louis Jean of TVA Sports has the latest on Steven Stamkos:
Things just keep getting worse for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Down 0-2 in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs entering Sunday's action against the Montreal Canadiens, the Lightning are now dealing with an injury to star center Steven Stamkos after taking a knee to the head.
Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star reported the injury as it happened on the ice:
Stamkos was kneed in the head. Wobbly getting up.— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) April 21, 2014
The NHL on NBC reports that the knee was accidental as Stamkos went to the ice after losing the edge on his skate:
Stamkos takes an accidental knee to the side of the head after losing an edge, he’s heading to the locker room #StanleyCup— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) April 21, 2014
Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times also confirmed that Stamkos was taken to the locker room and gave a blow-by-blow breakdown of the second period for the Lightning:
Stamkos took knee to head. Now in dressing room.— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) April 21, 2014
#tblightning played well in second period, but still trail 2-1. Had a goal waved off on a bad call, then lost Stamkos to injury.— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) April 21, 2014
Chris Johnston of Rogers Sportsnet reported Stamkos did return to the ice in the third period:
Steven Stamkos is back for the third period.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 21, 2014
Missy Zielinski of lightning.nhl.com spoke with Stamkos about the decision to re-enter the game after Montreal's 3-2 win:
Stamkos said he felt good enough to come back in third period after knee-to-head hit from Emelin late in second.— Missy Zielinski (@Missy_Zielinski) April 21, 2014
David Amber of Hockey Night in Canada spoke with Jon Cooper about allowing him to go back in the game:
Jon Cooper re Stamkos injury "our staff said he was good to go and Steven said he was ok...so he played"— David Amber (@DavidAmber) April 21, 2014
This injury for Stamkos is not his first on the season. On Nov. 11, 2013, Stamkos suffered a broken tibia that held him out for much of the season, but his return sparked a run by Tampa Bay all the way to the playoffs.
Here's a video of the injury for the captain:
As for Stamkos' thoughts on the series, even with a two-game deficit (now three after Sunday's 3-2 loss), he spoke about putting the team before himself to earn the win, per Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times:
I'm not satisfied unless we win. I'd trade personal success for team success. It would still be a story if I wasn't producing, but we were winning.
It's not just me. Collectively we aren't going far as a team if just one player is playing well. We weren't satisfied with our effort (in Wednesday's 5-4 overtime loss in Game 1). The more we watch the tape, the more we see things that we can improve on.
In just 37 games played this season, Stamkos still registered 25 goals and 40 points on the year. His goal-scoring threat from anywhere on the ice and ability to create scoring opportunities made him a catalyst for the Lightning's success.
The extent of the injury hasn't been reported, but if Stamkos isn't 100 percent for the Lightning, the 0-3 deficit will be insurmountable for Tampa Bay. When more information about the injury comes through, it will be added immediately to this story.
Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter.