Sami Salo sidelined with lower-body injury

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The Tampa Bay Lightning had to know they were rolling the injury dice by acquiring Sami Salo during the offseason. For 18 games, that gamble paid off, but the fragile defenseman got hurt during Tuesday’s match against the Buffalo Sabres.

Salo, 38, suffered a lower-body injury and won’t return, according to the team.

The hard-shooting blueliner’s ailment will probably draw plenty of “finally” and “who had Feb. 26 in their injury pool?” jokes, but it’s disappointing for Tampa Bay because he’s been such a good fit. Salo has eight points in those 18 games with an impressive +12 rating.

He’s not the only injury risk the Bolts have inherited from the Vancouver Canucks. Mattias Ohlund is also struggling with career-threatening knee problems.

Salo’s $3.75 million cap hit expires after the 2013-14 campaign.