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Hedman misses Game 3 for Lightning against Blue Jackets with injury

Defenseman did not play final four games of regular season before returning for playoffs

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

COLUMBUS -- Victor Hedman did not play for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 3-1 loss to Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Sunday because of an undisclosed injury.

The 2018 Norris Trophy winner as the best defenseman in the NHL played in Games 1 and 2 after missing the final four games of the regular season with an upper-body injury. He had no points and was minus-2.

The Blue Jackets lead the best-of-7 series 3-0. Game 4 is at Columbus on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN360, TVAS, FS-O, SUN). 


[RELATED: Complete Lightning vs. Blue Jackets series coverage]


Lightning coach Jon Cooper did not have update on Hedman. 

Cooper said before the game that he wasn't certain if Hedman's current injury is related to his previous upper-body injury. However, he said Hedman has been "banged up for the last bit" and he wouldn't play in Game 3 if he wasn't 100 percent confident in his ability to be physical.

Braydon Coburn took Hedman's place in the lineup. Coburn, a healthy scratch for the first two games of the series, had three shots on goal and one hit in 15:39 playing in his 133rd Stanley Cup Playoff game.

Hedman had 54 points (12 goals, 42 assists) in 70 games in the regular season. Coburn had 23 points (four goals, 19 assists) in 74 games.

The Lightning also played without forward Nikita Kucherov, the NHL scoring champion who was suspended for Game 3 for boarding Columbus defenseman Markus Nutivaara with 4:26 remaining in Game 2. 

Ryan Callahan replaced Kucherov in the lineup and played in his 120th NHL playoff game after being a healthy scratch in Games 1 and 2. Callahan had two shots on goal, five hits and two blocked shots in 10:37.

For Columbus, defenseman Adam Clendening replaced Nutivaara, who sustained an upper-body injury on the Kucherov hit. Clendening, who had no points in four games with the Blue Jackets in the regular season, had three shots on goal and one hit in 9:16.

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