Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said Monday he is fine after sustaining an apparent upper-body injury Sunday and expects to play in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, CBC, RDS, FS-F).
The Canadiens hold a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series and will be going for the sweep at Bell Centre.
"I feel pretty good so, yeah, I'm expecting to play," Stamkos told the media Monday. "It was a tough game [Sunday]. I thought we battled hard, but I'll be ready for the next one."
Stamkos was able to return for the third period of Game 3 after being forced to leave at 16:09 of the second.
Stamkos was skating through the neutral zone when he got tangled up with Canadiens forward Brandon Prust and fell. As he was falling, Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin was skating back toward his own zone when he tried to step over Stamkos and struck him in the head with his right knee.
Stamkos went down, tried to get back up and skate to the bench and stumbled before going down on one knee again to wait for the Lightning trainer. He skated to the dressing room under his own power and missed the remainder of the second period, but returned for the third.
"I take pride in not missing games," said Stamkos, who had to come back this season from a broken leg. "Obviously this year was a little different. If I feel like I'm ready to play, whether it's a regular season game or a playoff game, I'm going to try my best to play."
Though Stamkos will likely be in the lineup, Lightning coach Jon Cooper confirmed Monday goalie Ben Bishop will not be available for Game 4. Bishop has been sidelined since sustaining an upper-body injury on April 8 in the opening minutes of a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.