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STAMKOS HAS IMMEDIATE IMPACT IN RETURN, BUT STATUS FOR GAME FOUR UNCERTAIN

Almost seven months to the day since his last game in February of this year, Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was back on the ice in game three of the Stanley Cup final and his impact was immediate. However, it's not clear whether he will suit up for game four.

With his first shot of the game, Stamkos would score and his team would go on to beat Dallas 5-2 for a two-games-to-one lead in the SCF. However, Stamkos would miss much of the play after that, getting a total of just 2:47 of ice-time in the game. He played two shifts after the goal and sat on the bench for the rest of the game.

"Steven Stamkos said he had an 'issue' in this game and it’s 'too early' to say whether he’ll play next game," said Joe Smith, who covers the Lightning for The Athletic.

Stamkos had surgery to repair a core muscle on March 2nd and was supposed to miss six to eight weeks, but incurred multiple setbacks in his recovery. It is unclear if that is the issue still nagging him as he would not elaborate following game three, but it's a safe bet.



“At this time of the year, you want to do anything you can to help your team win,” Stamkos said following the 5-2 win. “It was a dream come true.”

"You can see the reaction on the ice and on our bench when he scored that goal," said teammate Victor Hedman. "This is how much he means to us as a teammate and as a leader — and as a friend.”


TIM TUCKER
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020  (9H57)