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Rutta exits game vs. Vegas with lower-body injury

Rutta had to be helped off the ice after colliding with Nicolas Roy in the first period

by Bryan Burns @BBurnsNHL /

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be down a defenseman as they attempt to extend their win streak against Pacific Division teams to 12 games tonight.

Top-pair blueliner Jan Rutta sustained a lower-body injury in the first period of the Bolts' contest versus the Vegas Golden Knights at AMALIE Arena and will not return.

Rutta was injured in the opening half of the first period after getting his legs plowed into from behind by the Golden Knights' Nicolas Roy. Rutta remained down on the ice for a few moments as he got checked out by Lightning head athletic trainer Tom Mulligan before rising to his skates. He was helped off by teammates Alex Killorn and Cedric Paquette without putting much, if any, weight on his right leg before making his way down the tunnel to the locker room.

Rutta had started 14-consecutive games as the right-side top pair defenseman alongside Norris Trophy candidate Victor Hedman. In all this season, Rutta played in 33 games, scoring a goal and adding six assists, including two in his last five games.

The 29-year-old Czech has played in 127 career NHL games.

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