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Salo returned to Tampa Bay lineup Sunday

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders

during their game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on December 17, 2013 in Uniondale, New York.

Al Bello

Sami Salo returned to the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup for Sunday night’s 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers after missing four games with an upper-body injury.

As Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times shares, he’s a guy coach Jon Cooper loves having around.

“A wily vet,” Cooper called the 39-year-old, “and you can’t have enough of those guys on the back end.”

That’s especially true for the Lightning who have a host of young players on the blue line. Andrej Sustr, Keith Aulie, Mark Barberio, Radko Gudas, and Victor Hedman are all under 25 years old. Having a guy like Salo who knows all the tricks of the trade is valuable for such a young team.

Injuries and Salo have been an unfortunate pairing throughout his career, but the Finnish blue liner always finds his way back to the ice. This season he has one goal and six assists in 35 games.

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