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Hedman exits game vs. Islanders with upper-body injury

The defensemen collided with an official early in the second period and did not return

by Bryan Burns /

Just when the Tampa Bay Lightning were finally at full strength, they sustained another injury to a key player.

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman suffered an upper-body injury early in the second period of the Bolts' battle in Brooklyn with the New York Islanders at Barclays Center Sunday night and will not return to the game. Hedman appeared to collide with an official and immediately went down to the ice before rising and skating off under his own power. After sitting on the bench for a few minutes, Hedman went into the locker room followed by Lightning head athletic trainer Tom Mulligan at the first television timeout and did not return.

No word yet on the severity of Hedman's injury.

The blueliner became the first Lightning player in franchise history to win the Norris Trophy last season when he was voted the NHL's best defenseman at season's end. He missed seven games earlier this season (Oct. 27-Nov. 8) with a lower-body injury but has again been the Bolts' top producing defenseman with five goals and 29 points entering the game against the Islanders.

Hedman became Tampa Bay's all-time games played leader in franchise history for a defenseman, passing Pavel Kubina, when he skated in his 664th game with the Lightning January 10 versus Carolina.

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