Hockey roundup: Stamkos sidelined, Konecny lauded

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos will probably miss at least two more games with a lower-body injury he suffered last week.

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Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is expected to miss at least one more game with a lower-body injury he suffered last week.

The former Sarnia Sting forward has been out since sustaining the injury April 8 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

He didn’t play Tuesday in Nashville and is likely out Thursday against Florida, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said Monday.

“We’ll see over the next week how he progresses,” Cooper said. “… Let’s circle back on the weekend to see where he’s at.”

Stamkos has already missed two games with the injury. He leads the Lightning with 17 goals and has 34 points in 38 games.

Cooper wouldn’t say on the weekend if this injury is related to the core muscle injury that sidelined Stamkos for all but one Stanley Cup playoff game last season.

“I honestly can’t speculate on any of that,” he said. “I’m the hockey coach, not the doctor.”

Konecny praised

Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux has been a good influence on Sting alum Travis Konecny, says Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault.

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Konecny has skated on a line lately with Giroux and Jakub Voracek. His season-high five-game point streak ended Sunday in a 5-3 loss to Buffalo.

“G is playing so hard every game, every shift, trying to play a full 200-foot game and he’s really battling. I do think that has rubbed off on TK a bit,” Vigneault said. “Any time TK is moving his feet and moving the puck and going to those tough areas, he’s a hard player to play against.

“We need him to continue, there’s no doubt.”

Konecny had nine goals and 19 assists in 35 games before Tuesday’s tilt. He had a goal and an assist Saturday in a 3-2 win over Boston.

“You play with a player like G, he sees the ice so well, he works really hard. You’re going to get your chances as long as you’re trying to get to the right areas,” Konecny said. “It’s the same with Jake. They’re good puck-moving guys, so just get to the right areas and try to get them the puck back.

“As long as we’re playing the right way out there, I’m sure those guys are going to get their looks, so I just try to get to the right areas for them.”

Chychrun second

Sting alum Jakob Chychrun of the Arizona Coyotes ranks second among NHL defencemen with 12 goals, one fewer than Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse.

Chychrun is tied for 12th in blue-line scoring with a career-high 29 points in 43 games.

He had seven points in a three-game span last week, posting two straight two-assist games after notching his first career hat trick.

Zacha tops Devils

Ex-Sting forward Pavel Zacha continues to share the New Jersey Devils’ scoring lead with 25 points in 39 games going into Tuesday’s action.

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He also has 10 goals – three shy of his career-high – after scoring three last week.

Down in the AHL

Sting forward Jacob Perreault is heating up for the San Diego Gulls with two goals and five assists in his last five games. That stretch includes the first three multi-point games of his pro career.

Perreault has 3-8-11 totals in 16 games in the American Hockey League.

Sting teammate Jamieson Rees has five goals and four assists in 19 games with the Chicago Wolves.

Former Sting centre Adam Ruzicka is the leading scorer for the Stockton Heat with 10 goals and 19 points in 22 games.

He’s scored in two straight games and three of five.

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