After making a brief appearance in Game 3 of the series, Stamkos missed the past two games as he continues to deal with a lower-body injury that originally sidelined him in February.
“Hopefully next time we see him on the ice is during the trophy presentation,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper.
The Lightning lead the best-of-seven series by a 3-2 margin after losing Saturday’s Game 5 in double overtime.
They will have another chance to win the Stanley Cup vs the Dallas Stars in Game 6 on Monday night.
When the Lightning announced that Stamkos would not play the past two games they were not prepared to rule him out for the series. But now that we are down to only one or two games remaining it was getting obvious that he was running out of time to return.
If the Lightning are able to win one of the next two games it will be the first time since 1989 that a player wearing the captain’s C is not on the ice for a Stanley Cup clinching game. In that instance two of when 2 of Calgary’s “tri-captains” — Tim Hunter and Jim Peplinski — were healthy scratched for Game 6 of the final against Montreal.
That allowed the third “tri-captain”, Lanny McDonald, to get back into the lineup after not playing in Games 3-5.
Before that you have to go back to 1979 when Montreal’s Yvan Cournoyer did not play due to injury.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars (TB leads 3-2)
Stars 4, Lightning 1 (recap)
Lightning 3, Stars 2 (recap)
Lightning 5, Stars 2 (recap)
Lighting 5, Stars 4 [OT] (recap)
Stars 3, Lightning 2 [2OT] (recap)
Game 6: Monday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m. ET – NBC
*Game 7: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 8 p.m. ET – NBC