Tampa Bay Lightning star forward Steven Stamkos is out for the remainder of the playoffs with a fractured tibia, the team announced on Monday.
Stamkos is the Lightning’s leading scorer through six games this season, with six goals and nine assists. He’s one of several key offseason acquisitions for the Lightning, which is in the middle of a six-game winning streak that has them sitting atop the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay has scored 26 goals during that span.
“I’m unbelievably sad for the guys who are going to get to play in those big moments,” Stamkos told reporters on Monday. “It’s going to be difficult because we’re all close. And it’s a devastating injury for him, but as much as this sucks for us, the guys in the room, you just hate to see a guy like that go down.”
Stamkos, 25, was hurt in the first period of Sunday’s 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. He was attempting to make a pass behind the net when he took a shoulder to the leg.
Coach Jon Cooper said it was likely the injury was a serious one.
“We’re close to a million things but we don’t have a million thing right now,” Cooper said. “We have a busted leg.”
Clayton Keller, an 18-year-old rookie defenseman, will be sidelined for at least eight weeks after undergoing surgery Monday to repair a broken nose, according to the team. It is the second game Keller has missed with an injury.
Keller, a first-round draft pick in 2015, has one goal and one assist this season.