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Victor Hedman expected to return to lineup tonight vs. Predators

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

NASHVILLE -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman will return to the lineup against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, SUN).

Hedman did not play in a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday after sustaining a concussion in a 5-3 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

"I'm excited for tonight," Hedman said. "I'm very happy it was only a one game thing. For me to get back at it, it's obviously a lot of fun."

Tampa Bay (4-2-0) begins a four-game road trip against the Central Division and expects a fast game from Nashville's group of speedy forwards.

"We've got to empty the tanks," Hedman said. "We know it's going to be a loud building. They have a great team. A lot of speed up front, and obviously a great [defense] corps. One through six is very good, very mobile, and obviously one of the best goaltenders in the League. We know it's a tough challenge for us."

Predators goalie Pekka Rinne is 4-0-0 against the Lightning in his career with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. Nashville has won four of five games this season (4-1-0)

"It's still the beginning of the season," Rinne said. "I think there's a lot of room for improvement. I think not only us [but] other teams are going to get better too as the season goes along. At the end of the season when you look at the top teams, it's a growing process throughout the regular season. The best teams are able to go and find another gear whenever you need it."


Jonathan DrouinSteven StamkosRyan Callahan

Ondrej PalatTyler JohnsonNikita Kucherov

Alex KillornValtteri FilppulaCedric Paquette

Brian BoyleVladislav NamestnikovErik Condra

Victor HedmanAnton Stralman

Matt Carle – Jason Garrison

Braydon CoburnAndrej Sustr

Ben Bishop

Kevin Poulin

Scratched: J.T. Brown, Nikita Nesterov

Injured: Andrei Vasilevskiy (blood clot)


Filip Forsberg – Mike Fisher – James Neal

Colin Wilson – Mike Ribeiro – Craig Smith

Viktor Arvidsson – Cody Hodgson – Calle Jarnkrok

Eric Nystrom – Paul Gaustad – Gabriel Bourque

Roman Josi – Shea Weber

Barret Jackman – Seth Jones

Mattias Ekholm – Victor Bartley

Pekka Rinne

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Austin Watson, Anthony Bitetto

Injured: Ryan Ellis (lower body)

Status report: Bishop was the first goaltender off the ice for the Lightning and is expected to start. … Rinne is expected to start for the Predators. … Ellis missed the morning skate. Ellis blocked a shot in a 4-3 win against the Ottawa Senators and did not return. Bartley is expected to take Ellis' place in the lineup.

Who's hot: Stamkos has four goals in the past five games. … Neal has three goals in the past two games.

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