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Lightning captain Steven Stamkos won't play in Eastern Conference finals, coach says

Stamkos has been out since having surgery for a core muscle injury on March 2.
Credit: AP Photo/Jason Behnken
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) waves to the crowd after becoming the all-time franchise goal leader (384) with his first-period goal during an NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes, Monday, March 18, 2019, in Tampa, Fla.

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper ruled out captain Steven Stamkos from playing in the Eastern Conference finals series against the New York Islanders. 

Cooper didn't offer any other details on Stamkos in providing the update a day before the series opens in Edmonton, Alberta. 

Stamkos has been out since having surgery for a core muscle injury on March 2. Stamkos spent the coronavirus pandemic-sparked pause recuperating and got back on the ice before aggravating the injury during voluntary workouts. 

Following a win last night over the Philadelphia Flyers, No. 6 New York Islanders will now take on No. 2 Tampa Bay in the best-of-seven series to determine who will advance to the coveted Stanley Cup Final. The first game will be Monday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. EST. 

Heading into the Eastern Conference Final, Tampa Bay is on a 4-game win streak and hasn't lost since its series opener with Boston on Aug. 23. During the streak, the Lightning outscored their opponents 17-7, often winning in thrilling fashion.

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