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Lightning's Hedman hopes to play vs. Predators @NHLdotcom

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, who has not played since sustaining an injury during a game Oct. 15 against the Dallas Stars, practiced Monday and said he was optimistic about returning to the lineup at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

Hedman was hurt late in the second period against the Stars when his head hit the boards after he was hit by Stars forward Jamie Benn. He did not play in the third period, and sat out the Lightning's 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

"I got through [Monday] without no limitations so we'll make the decision [Tuesday]," Hedman told the Lightning website. "Obviously when you get hurt you never want to miss any games. You always want to be out there and contribute. I've been through a lot in the past, so to limit this to [missing] one game would be good, but we'll see tomorrow."

Hedman has four assists and a plus-5 rating in five games for the Lightning this season.

"There's always a concern [with head injuries] but at the same time with the new technology and new helmets you are pretty safe," he said. "I had my head looking at the ice so I have to make certain I keep my head up and I don't put myself in that position. It was a clean hit [by Benn]; just a bang-bang play.

"The most important thing is how I feel right now and I feel great."

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