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Stamkos removed from NHL COVID-19 protocol list for Lightning

Forward does not play at Panthers, also has lower-body injury

by Mike Battaglino / NHL.com Staff Writer

Steven Stamkos was removed from the NHL COVID-19 protocol list Sunday after being unavailable for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 6-1 win at the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

"[Thanks] to everyone who has reached out," Stamkos wrote Friday on Twitter. "At this time we suspect a false positive test. Hopefully that's the case, and I will be back on the ice in the next couple of days. Until then I will continue to follow the NHL COVID list protocols."

Stamkos did not play in a 5-2 loss at Florida on Thursday because of a lower-body injury.

Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli was scratched Saturday after he was injured in the third period Thursday and did not play in the final 8:34. He is said to be out week to week.

"It's tough times ... it seems like guys are going down right now," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said Friday.

The Lightning host the Panthers on Monday.

Tampa Bay used 11 forwards and seven defensemen splitting two games at Florida. The loss Thursday ended a six-game winning streak.

Stamkos led the Lightning with seven goals, and his 14 points were second to linemate Brayden Point (16 points; six goals, 10 assists) in his 11 games. The Tampa Bay captain did not play the final 5:26 of a 6-1 win at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

Tweet from @RealStamkos91: Thx to everyone who has reached out. At this time we suspect a false positive test. Hopefully that���s the case, and I will be back on the ice in the next couple of days 🤞. Until then I will continue to follow the NHL Covid list protocols. https://t.co/TWDEE9Zrfx

NHL.com independent correspondent Corey Long contributed to this report

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