Lightning’s Hedman leaves game after collision with referee (Video)

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It turned out to be a pretty miserable Sunday for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Not only did they play what was probably their worst game of the season in a 5-1 loss to the New York Islanders, but they also lost one of their top players when reigning Norris Trophy winning defender Victor Hedman had to exit the game with what the team is calling an “upper-body injury.”

It was kind of a fluke, unfortunate play as it occurred in the neutral zone when Hedman collided with referee Chris Rooney.

Have a look.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper had no other update after the game except only to say that his star defender did not have to go through concussion protocol. He seemed to be having an issue with his eye as he sat on the bench in the immediate aftermath of the collision.

Hedman has already missed eight games this season due to injury but still has five goals and 24 assists in his 39 games played.

Even with Sunday’s loss the Lightning still have an NHL best 35-9-2 record and a substantial lead over every other team in the league.

On the other side, it was a thoroughly convincing win by an Islanders team that continues to be one of the biggest surprises in the NHL. They jumped all over the Lightning with three goals in the first six minutes and never looked back with what was their most complete effort of the season against the NHL’s best team.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.