TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning avoided an injury scare Friday when defenseman Victor Hedman took the ice with the rest of his teammates for the morning skate.
With the Lightning already thin on the blue line they will need major contributions from Hedman and the rest of the defense when they play the Chicago Blackhawks at Amalie Arena on Friday.
The Lightning (37-19-6) have had four days rest after going 3-2-0 on a West Coast trip that ended with a 5-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. The Blackhawks are playing their third game in four days and the second half of a back-to-back after a 3-0 win against the Florida Panthers on Thursday.
"It's good to give the body a couple of days to rest because we've got a pretty full schedule coming up," Lightning forward Tyler Johnson said. "It's always good, especially this time of the year."
As for Hedman, his departure from practice Thursday was just a precautionary measure.
"Everything feels right and we've got a big matchup tonight so I have to be out there," Hedman said. "This is the time when we have to try to separate ourselves and up our game. That's what the teams like Chicago and Boston do this time of year."