Steven Stamkos forced to leave game with lower-body injury

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be holding their breath until there’s an update on captain Steven Stamkos, who was forced to leave Tuesday’s game with an apparent leg injury.

Through the first month of the season, few players have been quite as hot as Steven Stamkos, but an apparent lower-body injury could be threatening to derail the Tampa Bay Lightning captain’s season.

During the early stages of Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, Stamkos found himself battling for a puck along the right wing boards while on the penalty kill. On a seemingly innocuous play, Stamkos got tied up with Red Wings winger Gustav Nyquist and fell to the ice while clearing the puck out of the Tampa Bay zone. 

As Stamkos got up from the ice, he came up limping, slowly made his way to the Lightning bench and left for the dressing room shortly thereafter:

There was no immediate update on Stamkos’ status, but the 26-year-old didn’t return for the remainder of the first period.

If there’s any silver lining at the moment, it’s that Stamkos has never suffered any sort of knee injury throughout his career, so it’s not as if this is another instance of an injury that has been recurring throughout his career. That said, the injury does come almost exactly three years after Stamkos suffered a broken tibia, an injury that came months before the 2014 Olympics and cost Stamkos 45 games of the 2013-14 campaign.

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Losing Stamkos would be devastating for the Lightning, especially with how well he’s been playing early on. He had scored his ninth goal of the season earlier in the contest against Detroit, putting him into a tie for sixth in the league, and the tally was his 20th point of the year.

UPDATE: The Lightning announced that Stamkos has suffered a lower-body injury and will not return to Tuesday’s outing and THN’s Ken Campbell reported Stamkos will be undergoing an MRI in Detroit.

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