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Lightning's Hedman doubtful Saturday vs. Sabres

by Corey Long

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman was not at Amalie Arena for practice Friday and is doubtful to play Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, BELL TV, SUN).

Hedman sustained an undisclosed injury in the second period of a 5-3 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Friday he doesn't believe Hedman's absence will be long-term.

"He's feeling much better," Cooper said. "It was positive news when he came in. You don't want to lose any of your guys, especially him. We're confident he’ll be back soon [but] not tomorrow."

Hedman was injured when he was hit against the boards by Stars forward Jamie Benn.

"I'm hopeful that it's not as bad as it looked," Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said. "Unfortunately [Hedman] has had some tough luck in his career with injuries. He always gets off to a good start and then something happens. So hopefully this isn't bad and he can get back."

In five games, Hedman has four assists and a plus-5 rating in 20:05 of ice time per game.

He sustained a broken finger last season on Oct. 18 and was out until Nov. 29, missing 18 games.

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