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Report: Lightning’s Johnson may sit out All-Star game

Tampa Bay Lightning v Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 22: Tyler Johnson #9 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on March 22, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Justin K. Aller

Rising Tampa Bay Lightning star Tyler Johnson made it to Columbus for this weekend’s All-Star festivities, but it sounds like he might just remain a bystander.

A lower-body injury sidelined the 24-year-old for the skills competition, and how it sounds like he’ll be out of the game itself today, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports.

In an interesting twist, LeBrun mentions that Johnson won’t face the same scrutiny from the league as others have regarding his next game back following these injury issues because he went to Columbus. He’s eligible to play in Tampa Bay’s Tuesday game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Lightning have been playing well lately, winning three games in a row, six out of eight and 10 out of their last 13. Johnson’s been productive, although he’s been a little banged up, so getting this extra rest - even with travel over a traditional vacation - may be quite helpful as the NHL approaches the stretch run of the 2014-15 season.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins