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Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning notes: Hedman sidelined all weekend

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Published:   |   Updated: April 6, 2013 at 11:55 PM
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -

If the Lightning want to get back into the playoff conversation, they will have to do so without the services of top D Victor Hedman.

Hedman missed Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders and ruled himself out of today’s game at Washington as well with an undisclosed lower-body injury. Hedman did not play after the first period against Carolina on Thursday, coming out to test the injury before the start of the second period but returning to the locker room.

There is no timetable for his return.

“It’s just a lower-body injury. I’m day-to-day,” said Hedman, who did not take part in Saturday’s morning skate. “Something obviously happened, but we’ll take it day by day, get a lot of ice and then we’ll see.’’

Hedman is second on the team in average ice time at 22 minutes, 22 seconds per game and is a plus-8. His absence creates a void in the lineup.

“Victor Hedman is a big part of our team,’’ coach Jon Cooper said. “There is no replacement for him.’’

Tampa Bay called up D Matt Taormina from Syracuse of the American Hockey League, providing some NHL experience as the 26-year-old appeared in 47 games with New Jersey over the past two seasons.

“We wanted to put somebody in here who has some experience, and we are not at a point of the season where we are throwing the towel in, we are at a point where we need to win, and we felt Matt was the best to fill that for us,” Cooper said. “He really sees the ice, he can skate and move pucks. And in my short time here we need to be better in breaking pucks out of our end, and he’s good at that.”

Taormina, who suffered a lower back injury on the second day of training camp that cost him six weeks of playing time, said he is feeling back on top of his game.

“I’ve been back for about a month now and I’m feeling back to my game,’’ said Taormina, who has four goals and 21 points in 50 games with Syracuse this season. “When I first came back I was not feeling 100 percent healthy … It just took time, and so far it’s been good.’’

Thompson returns
After sitting out two games on suspension, C Nate Thompson returned to the lineup, but he was shifted to play left wing on a line with C Vinny Lecavalier and RW Brett Connolly. Thompson said he was itching to get back in the lineup.
“I just want to get back and help the team,’’ said Thompson, who appeared in his 300th career game. “I just want to be part of the puzzle to help out.’’
Cooper said Thompson’s return is a welcome addition to the lineup.
“It was exciting to get three out of four points with him out of the lineup,’’ Cooper said. “He can play all positions, all lines, and if you can get him against top players, he can be hard on them. It will be a big lift for us.’’

Back to campus; Nassau Coliseum sits across the street from the campus of Hofstra University, where Cooper played lacrosse and earned his undergraduate degree. He spent a good portion of Friday exploring his old stomping grounds.
“I did a little reminiscing down the Hempstead Turnpike, so those areas you might visit on a Friday or a Saturday night,” Cooper said. “But it was a ton of memories and it was weird looking at Hofstra Stadium. It’s been revamped since I played there. And I have nothing but great memories of Hofstra.’’
Nuts and Bolts
RW Dana Tyrell was a healthy scratch. … New York LW Matt Moulson (flu) missed his first career game as a member of the Islanders, snapping a consecutive games played streak at 284.


eerlendsson@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7835 Twitter: erlendssonTBO

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