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Hedman practices for first time in Sweden, aiming to play Friday

Hedman has missed the Lightning's last two games with a lower-body injury

by Jacob Lynn / TampaBayLightning.com

Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said it would be an important step for Victor Hedman to practice on Tuesday in order to be ready for this weekend's games against the Buffalo Sabres in Stockholm, Sweden. 

The Big Swede checked that step off on Tuesday. 

Hedman was on the ice with the rest of his teammates at Ericsson Globe on Tuesday morning as he looks to return to action after having been sidelined with a lower-body injury sustained in a game last week against the Rangers.

Hedman skated on the Lightning's top defensive pair with Kevin Shattenkirk but wasn't on either of the power play units. 

Tweet from @CaleyChelios: Hedman on the ice taking slap shots and skating on his own ahead of practice. pic.twitter.com/eRbxj3RPQv

Although Hedman wasn't ready to guarantee he'll make his return to game action when the Lightning open the 2019 NHL Global Series on Friday, his full participation at practice is an important step in the right direction. The injury is still considered day-to-day. 

Born six hours north of Stockholm, these two games in Sweden have an added signficance for Hedman. He's the only Swedish player on the Lightning's roster and has been Tampa Bay's unofficial ambassador during the team's first fiew days in Stockholm. 

Tweet from @TBLightning: Hedman on returning to the ice today: ���It was a lot of fun. Looking at practice for two days wasn���t what I expected when I knew we were coming over here. It felt good to skate with the guys again.��� #NHLGlobalSeries

Tampa Bay has missed Hedman's presence on the blueline, surrendering 11 goals in the two games that he's missed.

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