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Global Series

Hedman's Global Series status for Lightning could hinge on next practice

Defenseman has missed past two games with lower-body injury, eager to return against Sabres

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Senior Director of Editorial

STOCKHOLM -- Victor Hedman did not practice again Monday because of a lower-body injury and could miss the opportunity to play here in his home country if he can't get back on the ice soon.

The defenseman likely needs to take part in at least one practice for the Tampa Bay Lightning if he hopes to play in the 2019 NHL Global Series games against the Buffalo Sabres at Ericsson Globe on Friday (2 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, NHL.TV) and Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, SUN, MSG-B, NHL.TV).

"I'd like to see him on the ice tomorrow, if he is not, then there could be issues," coach Jon Cooper said. "We'll see if he gets on the ice tomorrow."

Does Cooper believe he will see Hedman skate Tuesday? 

"I think so. I'm always a glass-half-full guy," he said. 

Hedman has not skated since sustaining the injury Oct. 29 against the New York Rangers, missing the past two games. There was hope he would skate Monday after missing practice Sunday, the first after the Lightning arrived here following an overnight flight, but he did not.

"We'll evaluate today and see tomorrow if I am on the ice and take it from there," Hedman said.

The Sweden-born defenseman, who has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 11 games, missed games against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday and the New York Islanders on Friday.

Hedman is from Ornskoldsvik, a coastal city approximately 330 miles north of Stockholm. He is the Lightning's only Sweden-born player and is keen to play for the first time in an NHL game in front of his country's hockey fans. 

As important, he wants to help the Lightning, who are 1-1-0 in his absence and 6-5-2 this season, get back on track.

"Obviously, the goal for me is to get back in there quickly," Hedman said. "It's tough to watch hockey games. You want to play them. So, that's my main focus right now."

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