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Stamkos returns after injury in second period

by Arpon Basu

MONTREAL -- Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was able to return for the third period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens after being forced to leave at 16:09 of the second with what appeared to be an upper-body injury.

Steven Stamkos
Center - TBL
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 4
SOG: 12 | +/-: 0
Stamkos was skating through the neutral zone when he got tangled up with Canadiens forward Brandon Prust and fell. As he was falling, Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin was skating back toward his own zone when he tried to step over Stamkos and struck him in the head with his right knee.

Stamkos went down, tried to get back up and skate to the bench and stumbled before going down on one knee again to wait for the Lightning trainer. He skated to the dressing room under his own power and missed the remainder of the second period, but returned for the third.

Tampa Bay lost the game, 3-2, and now trails 3-0 in the best-of-7 series. Game 4 is set for Tuesday at Bell Centre (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, FS-F, CBC, RDS).

"It was just something I tried to shake off," Stamkos said. "Obviously, games like this you don't want to miss any time, so I want to be out there as much as I can to help our team win. It was close tonight, but not good enough."

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