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Bolt of energy: Lightning get Hedman back

Detroit Red Wings v Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 20: Victor Hedman #77 of the Tampa Bay Lightning stretches during the pregame warm up against the Detroit Red Wings at the Amalie Arena on March 20, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning might be hobbling into the playoffs a bit, but one big, important player is back on Thursday night. Victor Hedman will play against the New Jersey Devils tonight, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith.

Hedman is returning from his second troublesome injury of the 2014-15 season, as he’s been sidelined since March 30.

The Lightning have done an admirable job putting together wins even with significant injuries seemingly occurring left and right. Getting Hedman back - maybe even getting both of Tampa Bay’s remaining two games under his belt, depending upon how things shake out - is almost as enormous as the sizable Swede.

Tampa Bay needs some help in chasing Montreal for the Atlantic Division crown. The Habs face the hungry Detroit Red Wings without Tom Gilbert tonight because of an upper-body injury, so consider that another advantage for the Lightning.