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Lightning rule out Steven Stamkos for rest of Stanley Cup Final

Steven Stamkos

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - SEPTEMBER 23: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning looks on from the bench against the Dallas Stars during the second period in Game Three of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place on September 23, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Tampa Bay Lightning made it official on Sunday and announced that team captain Steven Stamkos will not play again during the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.

After making a brief appearance in Game 3 of the series, Stamkos missed the past two games as he continues to deal with a lower-body injury that originally sidelined him in February.

“Hopefully next time we see him on the ice is during the trophy presentation,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper.


The Lightning lead the best-of-seven series by a 3-2 margin after losing Saturday’s Game 5 in double overtime.

They will have another chance to win the Stanley Cup vs the Dallas Stars in Game 6 on Monday night.

When the Lightning announced that Stamkos would not play the past two games they were not prepared to rule him out for the series. But now that we are down to only one or two games remaining it was getting obvious that he was running out of time to return.

If the Lightning are able to win one of the next two games it will be the first time since 1989 that a player wearing the captain’s C is not on the ice for a Stanley Cup clinching game. In that instance two of when 2 of Calgary’s “tri-captains” -- Tim Hunter and Jim Peplinski -- were healthy scratched for Game 6 of the final against Montreal.

That allowed the third “tri-captain”, Lanny McDonald, to get back into the lineup after not playing in Games 3-5.

Before that you have to go back to 1979 when Montreal’s Yvan Cournoyer did not play due to injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars (TB leads 3-2)

Stars 4, Lightning 1 (recap)
Lightning 3, Stars 2 (recap)
Lightning 5, Stars 2 (recap)
Lighting 5, Stars 4 [OT] (recap)
Stars 3, Lightning 2 [2OT] (recap)
Game 6: Monday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m. ET – NBC
*Game 7: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 8 p.m. ET – NBC

*if necessary

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.